Friday, March 27, 2020

Risking the Lives of Loved Ones to Help the Community

I've been watching the second season of Beauty and the Beast.

In "Ever After," the episode I've been watching today,  Catherine (Kristen Kruek) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) go into eyewitness protection, because there's a dodgy manhunt in NYC for Vincent. The plan is for them to escape and lay low in the suburbs while their friends fight the injustice, and it's safe for Catherine and Vincent to come home.

A crime happens in their new neighborhood, and Catherine decides it should be her job to investigate. Uh...even though there are local police working on it.

Okay. I should probably add that Catherine herself is a cop. So it's understandable that she be tempted to get involved. But it's kind of insulting for her to automatically assume the local police need her help.  I mean might they be able to work things out on their own?

Anyway, Vincent protests her involvement reminding her the importance of them laying low.

Catherine continues to resist this plan saying something like she can't just selfishly do nothing. Or something like that. I'm not sure she actually used the word selfish.  But basically her message was We're not the type of people to put our needs ahead of others.

In some cases, I think that's a noble way of thinking.

In other cases, I think it's more arrogant than noble.

In Catherine's case, I think it was pretty arrogant.  I think it was really about her being bored and needing to feel needed.

The situation, though, reminded me of the Coronavirus pandemic.

During this pandemic, one of the most helpful things we can do for each other is stay home and sit around watching Netflix.  I mean how often can we help the world by being lazy?  This is quite a gift.

Of course, this gift is not available to everyone. There ARE people who are very much needed in the community—doctors, nurses, delivery people, grocery store workers, police, daycare workers, etc.

There are people who put their own lives at risk either because they very much need the money and their job still exists in this environment, and/or the community desperately needs them. 

But what about the grey situations.

Let's say someone is NOT in immediate dangerous financial distress. They're not medically trained. They don't have special, unique skills that are needed for society to continue to function.  But they're a bit bored staying home, and they want to go out and help a bit. They want to feel needed.

Is that okay?

I'd say maybe depending on the risk of them spreading the virus to others.

If the person live alone and socializes online only, I think it would be more than okay. They'd only be risking themselves, and that is pretty noble.

If they live with a very healthy person under the age of 60, the risk of them harming that person is minimal.  So it's probably fairly okay.

But what if they live with an elderly person and/or someone with an underlying medical disorder?  Is it okay for them to volunteer their time and services?  Is it okay for them to put their family, friends, or housemates at risk so they can feel like their contributing to the community?

I think I'd have a hard time supporting that. 

How about the VERY needed, highly trained professionals that live with high risk individuals?

That's a tricky one.   

I'd probably want them to stay home and not work if that was possible....if they weren't desperately needed.  But that's unfortunately NOT going to be possible in most cities and towns. 

Bringing it back to Beauty and the Beast.

If there was a huge danger, and Catherine was the only person around to rescue the day, I WOULD want her to step in and do heroic things.  I mean if she saw someone being attacked and she just sat there saying, No. I can't jump in and use my ninja fighting skills, because then our secret might be uncovered, that would be awful.  But that's different than risking the life and liberty of Vincent simply because she's bored and wants to get involved in neighborhood drama.