Altruism for the human in a pandemic

My new show ‘Involuntary Comfort’ is a podcast where I speak carelessly. I also want to hear from you. What do you think about it? What could be better? Which kind of stories do you love?


So, here’s the question I want to try and answer today: Is altruism possible in today’s world?

Firstly, the ‘possibility’ in this question is a valid variable. And secondly, the ‘world we live in today’ is a modern cue for obvious reasons.

Being selfless is practically a good way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. However, it has a different sense to being selfless. Being careful about your safety will help you contain the virus and hence become selfless according to the definitions set by a pandemic.

If someone stays at home watching Netflix, work on their own, sleeping and discarding the choice to have a social gathering – they risk a judgement to be seen as someone who is self-absorbed. And, they are. This nowhere means what they’re doing is wrong if not correct. The point is they are less wrong than the ones going out which will make a huge difference to the dynamics of COVID-19. So, in a way they could not have been more right about this.

The last time I saw – there’s literally nothing wrong about caring for your health either.

If it means to be self-absorbed when all you do is care about others’ safety, then so be it – during when the right thing to do is exactly that. Because, you’re being selfless by giving up the joy of being outside. In the end you are helping everyone by staying put and in containing the killer.

The practical reason for this to be the only way out of the chaos is you won’t realise when you’re spreading it for real.

So, just don’t give yourself (and try for others) the chance to even risk spreading it. If you have to be out there, wear a mask for the sake of another life and eventually even yours. It’s not that hard if you’re not flippant towards humanity.

A part of why this could be beneficial to you is a fundamental acoustic in your mind. Those who have been staying at home can be proud (while having no guilt and without being selfish) to say these words out loud:

“I had no part in the mass killing. Directly or indirectly!”

This may seem offensive to those who are walking around like this is pre-coronavirus with the disguise of the times being post-coronavirus. Again, no one really has a vital part in the death of someone after spreading this virus. But, one can be responsible in the slightest ways possible for an infection. It’s up to personal belief whether you consider this as responsible enough to be murderous.

Here’s a perspective from ‘Barking Up the Wrong Tree’, and it says:

Looking at the research we see that during disasters, altruism is the rule. Selfishness is the exception.

Eric Barker on being self-less

Altogether, it seems like a concept hard to believe in (but very easy to understand.) It’s common to have varying opinions about this. What I don’t understand is – people choose to be carelessly selfish. And, specifically often complain about the economy and boredom for weird reasons.

It’s clearly falling down. The economy and your interesting life are both in deterioration. So, does this mean we need to have the bad guys backing the bad step? People who know barely about the working of an economy are using it to reason their time outside eating a pizza in their favourite cafe. Why not go to Italy? You’ll also help the global-economy of ‘ignorant reasons to travel’ while helping the exports for mozzarella. Sherlock, it doesn’t work that way.

Even though ICMR claims no community-transmission is happening, it’s hard to believe in these claims. Knowing the numbers increasing so rapidly it is seemingly an impossible reality we are being forced to face. In fact, the numbers are increasing for the first time in my city where it’s obvious enough and that’s why this article had to be published.


To be human right now is to let go of the joys for some days. You took the break, and it has to end somewhere. Let’s be honest, having your favourite chai on the road is only making you feel better. Not the economy.

However, it’ll be hard for the chaiwala to make a living if everyone stops drinking his tea. The point is these customers won’t feel slightly responsible when he was not suggested a better way to sell the tea during a lock-down.

Here’s how even the most vulnerable entities of this recession are solving their problems:

“We are thinking of starting ‘sev puri’ and ‘paani puri’ takeaways and supply our ‘chutneys’ hygienically packed to general stores which are open,” Sharma said.

From The New Indian Express

This goes beyond the tea. This is about making the seller survive and grow with the times we face. By doing this, you are helping yourself and the community.

But, a wise way to do this is by not risking any life you see. Especially your own.

Many need to stop making excuses to be out there. You are not helping if you don’t know how you’re helping the economy. If you do know how, understand the semantics of it to keep yourself safe out there. Wear masks to help everyone contain the virus and not to get rid of a fine. It’s about time we all became human.

Thank you for reading. See my artwork!

Dear Reader

How are you? I just wanted to sit down and put this on the blog. I have lots to say, and yet I don’t know which messages to pick. I’ll just keep on writing and everything will fall into place. Because, that’s what I know as a solution to everything. Maybe I am wrong, maybe… Continue reading →

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Shreyas

Imagination has a boundary. And, I can't imagine it.

5 thoughts on “Altruism for the human in a pandemic

  1. We have opened up some things again, and our numbers are not surprisingly on the rise again. I, too, am surprised at the carelessness out and about. We will be in lockdown again soon, I’m sure. It seems as though we lack patience of any kind in dealing with this virus. We have become too comfortable in our wants, and gotten too far way from our needs.

    Liked by 1 person

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