What If That Person Collapsed on the Street Were Your Relative? 

The world is heavily concerning about the rapid spread of the COVID-19. Plenty of official advice has been issued to the public, including the importance of staying hygienic and exercising caution, rather than panicking. Sothie and Samnang found it hard to avoid discussing about this global issue at their regular coffee shop. 

Sothie: The issue just keeps getting bigger. But, what is even worse is that when a person fainted mysteriously on the street, pedestrians who are walking nearby assume that the fainted person has contracted the COVID-19. Without hesitation, this distressing situation was constantly recorded and shared on the social media. 

Samnang: It is, without any doubt, a concerning issue. This COVID-19 outbreak is making people feel less compassionate and less humane. It is complicated to blame this alone though. Perhaps, our panic helped to alert medics to the face that this person needed rescuing, but perhaps by panicking, we also delayed the time it takes for the person to get the help they need – it’s hard to know. Perhaps, that person only experienced some known or treatable affliction like heart disease or high blood pressure, again we don’t know. What we do know is that the person collapsed on the street might lose their life depending on how we and the health authorities act. 

Sothie: We cannot help ourselves from feeling panic. I, myself, do feel panic. However, we also have to be rationally and consciously aware that first aid and the presence of emergency response workers are far more important than wearing protective masks and nervously running way from the situation. What if the person who fainted is your relative? What if they’re your neighbor? Now imagine if that particular person were to be yourself and that this particular situation were to happen to you, if the surrounding people were to leave you untouched just like that, do you think you have any chance of surviving? Wouldn’t you want someone to help?

Samnang: The second reason is the questionable assumption that people make when they see this, either on the street or on social media. They think that the person fainted because of COVID-19. Those people who film the situation are clearly aware that these are just their own thoughts, and their own assumptions – there are plenty of reasons why someone could pass out in the heat. Should those who have the time to stop and film the event or take photos of people collapsed in the street not also take some time to analyze the situation first? Just like what you have questioned so far, Sothie. What if that fainted person were your relative, and suddenly someone start filming that situation and then propagating the wrong assumption of what is actually happening. What do they think about that? 


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