2020, The Year We Saw the True Nature of Humans
“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is one of my favorite books. Golding originally wrote it after reading the book “The Coral Island,” where a group of schoolboys are trapped on an island, so they make their own civilization. Golding, having read this book, and being a schoolteacher, knew this would not have been the true outcome of the story, and so, “Lord of the Flies” was born. It starts of similar to “The Coral Islands,” but over time the boys on the island descend into madness, showing the form of true human nature.
While in the year 2020, we didn’t have people beating each other to death or being shoved off a cliff, we did have the coronavirus. I remember in February of 2020 having conversations with my co-workers about how worrisome the virus is after hearing stories out of Wuhan, China. Hearing that they had to build a whole hospital in 14 days to take care of the sick patients to forcing all their residents to stay inside. It was something we were all worried over due to the infectivity rate and mortality rate.
Eventually towards late February that it was something my science teacher began to talk about. How the rates were worse than the flu and how if it continued to spread through out the country, it may cause us to shut down. Low and behold, March 13th, we received the notice we would no longer be going to school and everything would be on lockdown. March 13th, the day that many peoples lives would be changed and the slow decent into the true nature of humans.
I say “the true nature of humans” not like it was the purge, there wasn’t rampant crime or murder, but as how each person truly cares for their fellow neighbors. To keep others and ourselves safe, we must wear masks. They prevent the virus from spreading farther than it would without a mask. Though, for many people, they do not care that it is to keep others safe. To state it in a straightforward manner, they care nothing for the common good, and everything for their own gain. Minor inconveniences against themselves are something they will ignore and do what they wish.
In “The Lord of the Flies,” not all of the boys descend into madness and savagery. The little boy nicknamed “Piggy,” due to his pig like features and chubbiness, held compassion all through out the book. He cared about the boys that were injured or without food. He set himself aside to help others, and avoided conflict, and yet he is the one to pay the price.
There are people like Piggy, there are people who will willingly wear a mask to help their friends and family. They will stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. But not everyone can be like Piggy, some people are selfish and care for nothing but themselves. The minor inconvenience of wearing a mask to great of a task for them to comply.
This is where 2020 has shown us the true nature of humans. Something as minor as wearing a piece of fabric to potentially stop the death of millions has become a controversial topic. People may not be intentionally killing each other, but the intentional disregard of rules has led to the death of hundreds. Just as the disregard of rules in Goldings book led to the death of Piggy.
In 2021 I hope that we as people will strive to be more like Piggy. To show compassion and to “wear a damn mask” for the safety of others. While those that have been lost can not be brought back, we can follow the preventative measures already put into place to prevent further loss.