Life Matters

The life of a cynic in a pandemic

A cynic is a person who always see’s life as having negative consequences. This is before they actually happen! If this is so, then living with a pandemic have many of us developed the personality traits of a cynic?

We keep away from certain areas in our community just in case we get infected with COVID-19. We wear masks. We social distance. We do not have as many people over to our place, as before the pandemic. Sometimes a mask is mandatory. But what about times when it is not? Are these people cynics – believing the worst might happen?

We wait for the news. We watch, we listen. What is happening to children in this space? What about the three-year-old with a mask I saw in the shopping centre? Is it because she wants to be like Mummy? Is it fun? Or is it fear? What will happen to children as they grow, will they turn into cynics, always expecting the worst.

Or as children mature will they trust and follow the research, while holding on tightly to their vaccination passport? Will children continue to sit close, to have fun and play? Or will they be more mindful of others beside them, too close to them?

But parents are not cynical, they are just careful.

The defence is that we cannot always trust others to do the right thing. We have to take remedial action to protect ourselves and our children. So, is there a creep of cynicism happening to our personalities? Why is my neighbour standing back? Why are others in shopping centres holding back?

But then there are others. Those free from cynicism. They skip past you on the travelator. They step too close. They do not social distance. It seems they do not care. Are these the positive people?

What about buying a new product online or having work done at home in a pandemic? Are you a person who does research to find out the best product or the best tradesperson to do a job? I must confess, I am a researcher. I am engaged with the task, up until I experience analysis paralysis. I want the best outcome. But should I trust others? If I do not is it because of past experiences? Does that mean I am cynical?

I might have some of the characteristics of a cynic but am I just being careful? There is a fine line between the life of a cynic and being careful when we are in the middle of a pandemic. Even when we are in the middle of life!

There are times when having personality traits of a cynic is okay. Yes, I think I am okay with that!

Featured photo by CDC on

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