Changing the American Mindset

For the majority of my life, one of the philosophies I lived by was “you stay in your lane, I’ll stay in mine.” However, a global pandemic is a great way of exposing the American mindset and why this philosophy is more of a pipe dream.

Graphic By Ben Patton

In this  pandemic, common sense must be used and irresponsibility cannot be ignored.

That being said, many American’s have had to keep working in-person in order to protect their livelihood. If they wear a mask and take the necessary safety precautions, no one should blame them for trying to make a life for themselves and their families.

But many more people have been irresponsible during this crisis. In this pandemic, the small things really do matter from each and every one of us.

A motorcycle rally in North Dakota late last year led to the spread of the virus to over 20 states and over 300 people, and that’s just the direct connections. 

Because of people like this, who, quite literally, didn’t stay in their lane, I spent my entire senior year of high school online. Since classes are online and student mental health is at an all time low, failure rates have skyrocketed. In many school districts throughout the country, the failure rate among the student body more than doubled last semester during online learning.

While one would think that high failure rates wouldn’t mean much to those still doing well, that is not the case. Higher failure rates means more students have to repeat core classes, or those required for graduation. More core classes means fewer electives. This is because public schools have a fixed allotment of teachers and therefore classes a year.

To sum it up, because my classmates are failing more and more classes, many electives (including AP classes) are being dropped from the course list, and less opportunities overall. 

AP classes were some of the most valuable classes that I took during my high school career. For those looking to continue their education after senior year, these classes are essential to prepare them for their future.

COVID has revealed a dark truth about the American mindset. Enough of us will always choose ourselves over others, even if it blatantly disregards safety and logic. With most things in today’s society, the actions of the few create consequences suffered by the many. 

Even after the pandemic is over, things should not go back to the way they were. In a highly connected and increasingly advanced world, irresponsible people are affecting more and more people around them. So if you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones you care about and for the world. Have common sense.

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