It’s okay to be a hypocrite (sometimes…) – OurWarwick
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It’s okay to be a hypocrite (sometimes…)

Arguments in my family are frequent and frivolous. Subject matters range from anger over ‘not hearing versus not listening’, small details being left out that ‘constitute lying’, to even the offensive presence of avocado in a dish. For the most part, I try to stay out of the arguments and help everyone see each other’s point of view and when they’re being unreasonable…with the odd exception of instances of hypocrisy. No matter how insignificant the situation, if someone claims to say or do something in one way and then behaves contrarily I find it infuriating! However, there is one instance in which I think it is acceptable to be a hypocrite: with respect to Coronavirus.

In September 2022, it’s obvious that some people have moved on completely from worrying about Covid. They are taking the government’s advice to heart about ‘living with the virus’ and carrying on as if it no longer exists. And there are others who still have to take shielding to the extreme because of their own or their family members’ health, in the midst of concerns over waning vaccine efficacy and new variants. And then there’s my family, who’s somewhat in the middle. We meet up with friends and family but still avoid massive gatherings. We went on holiday abroad but wore N95 masks on the journey. In general we wear masks in most indoor settings, even if it’s just a case of going to the local corner shop with barely any customers. The main reason we take precautions is concern for my asthmatic dad, but if I’m being honest, the unpredictability of Covid genuinely scares me for my sake too. Two years on, and I’ve still not knowingly had the virus, (let alone the fact that I’ve never had flu), and I don’t know what to expect. We all know that Omicron is a generally milder illness, but the risk is never zero. Yes, my dad’s 80-year old friend had such mild symptoms that he didn’t realise he even had it. But one of my vaccinated healthy young friends had short term but awful side effects. And another had mild symptoms but still experienced shortness of breath in the two months following. The best way I can think to describe the situation is like Forrest Gump and a more ominous box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get.

And yet. When I’m with my friends, rules go out the window. Across Term 3 and the summer holidays, I’ve not stopped myself going to mostly any place really- restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres, the bar, the theatre, the cinema. On a few instances I kept a mask on, but a lot of the time I couldn’t or simply didn’t. I may not have been clubbing or to music festivals or football stadiums, but I certainly went to a couple of smaller parties, and still met up with people the day after they’d come back from large events. And the very next day I’d be as careful as ever while I did things with my family. It’s 100% hypocritical, I know and accept it.

But you know what? I think that’s ok.

With university starting in a few weeks and cases threatening to rise, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to behave when it starts: and I’ve realised that it’s probably going to be exactly the same. I think I may well still keep my mask on in a large lecture or busy supermarket, but I’m still going to go freely to seminars, society events and social plans. I don’t have any plans to go to large concerts or clubbing (as the Covid risk seems too high for these activities that I don’t particularly enjoy anyway) but I won’t be bothered about spending time with housemates or other friends who do. I’ll still be careful about sanitising my hands and maintaining general good hygiene, but sanitising the grocery shopping will remain a thing of the past. Overall, I’m going to try and not make any hard and fast rules about my behaviour, which I can control, or other people’s behaviour, which I can’t control anyway, because everyone’s got to make their own choices and do what they feel comfortable doing. And most importantly, if the virus does finally come for me, I’m going to try and be brave and deal with each challenge as it comes rather than dwelling on how it happened or how I could have avoided it. I’m not ashamed to admit that Covid still scares me, despite being young and healthy and knowing the odds are in my favour to just experience a mild illness. But at the same time, I’m not going to let it control my life either.

Finally, I know perfectly well some people might be confused why I’m even writing a blog about this topic. You may have decided that the odds are Covid will be a cold for you and so at university you just want to live Freshers week, and everything beyond, to the max, to make up for everything you’ve missed out on. That’s totally valid. But the main reason I’m writing this blog is for anyone else. I want to let you know that if you are still anxious or conflicted about how to ‘live with Covid’ whether you’re young and healthy or otherwise, that’s totally valid too and you’re not the only one. Own your feelings, and own your decisions, since they’re all acceptable. Feel free to make your own rules- and hypocritically break them and change them as many times as you like and in whichever way you like, because there’s no right or wrong answer.

Thank you for reading: if you ever want to talk about Covid, or anything else for that matter, you can always message me😊

Priya x

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