BY MAY 6, 2022a
Enter “Covid” plus “selfish” in a Google search box and you’ll get over 28 million hits. Here’s the type of headline that pops up:
Since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have slapped the “selfish” label on those who didn’t share their zeal for lockdowns and restrictions. Remember the “disgusting display of selfish behavior” in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks on May 24, 2020? The “selfish and dangerous” people who flocked to Trinity Bellwoods park in Toronto that same day? The “selfish and irresponsible” beach goers in the UK town of Bournemouth two months later?
The word “selfish” rose to new heights as the global vaccination campaign ramped up throughout 2021. In July, UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove threatened to bar the “selfish vaccine refusers” from events, and five months later a Canadian radio personality exhorted the unvaxxed to “stop being a scientifically ignorant, selfish drag on society.” In April 2022, the word gathered fresh steam when a judge struck down the transportation mask mandate in the US. A Washington Post article described plane travelers’ reaction to the mid-air announcement as “whoops of selfish delight,” while the Boston Globe decried the jubilation as the “unmasking of a selfish nation.” …