When civilians around the world found their lives upended by the pandemic, two groups of people emerged.
There were those who respected the recommended safety protocols like wearing face coverings and avoiding large gatherings to protect themselves and others who are vulnerable to the viral pathogen.
And then there was the demographic who believed the virus – which has now claimed the lives of over 381,000+ Americans – was a hoax.
In the early phase of the pandemic, a trip to grocery stores around the country revealed the chaos of panic purchasing, with customers fighting over precious commodities like toilet paper.
It has come to this.
Curious to know about the input from strangers on the internet, Redditor OneAngryBlutbad asked:
"That most people are dependent on very fragile systems."
"The systems are fragile because they were not built to service the common man, they were designed in a way to keep the top 1% comfy."
That the 'Us vs. Them' concept is definitely a valid thing. Being in a group can be an integral part of identity, so much so that one can think their whole identity is the group. Doing anything against that group (including support or neutral stance toward another) provokes great fear of losing that part of your identity."
If The Worst Happens
"We will never, ever survive a zombie apocalypse."
Perception Of People
"I thought people were entitled, selfish, shallow, and terrible before the pandemic... but now? Holy sh*t."
"That the selfish, shallow, terrible people in high school didn't change."
Brilliant And Stupid
"That we are a mixture of brilliant and incredibly stupid."
"The stupid side seems to be more vocal. There are people I know that I will never be able look at in the same way following this."
"I work in retail and I have worked during the whole pandemic so far. The pandemic has revealed to me how rude and selfish people can be. I have met so many people who refuse to wear masks and abuse the exemption rules. All of a sudden, EVERYONE is medically exempt. People were abusing this way out of wearing a mask by lying. And let me tell you, its easy to tell when people are lying about being exempt from how rude they are and how much they yell at you for store protocols that you don't make! If someone has a medical issue so severe that their life could be at risk when exposed to [the virus], I'm sure they would take every precaution to stay away from the public. It really frustrates me to see how many people don't care about this virus and don't care who they transmit it to. I have to work because I need to pay rent, but by doing that, I am putting my significant other at risk, my family, my dad who has diabetes, and many other people."
Questionable Health Issues
"This, and the amount of people claiming exemption for breathing issues, for f- sake... If you have breathing issues and can't wear a mask, you definitely should not be in public. Some people can't tell the difference between having their 'freedoms threatened', and a mild personal inconvenience for the sake of humanity."
In The Event Of A Climate Disaster
"We are in no way prepared for imminent climate disaster."
"Unless you are a merperson and water is your thing."
Refusing To Believe
"There is a widespread denial and disbelief of science and fact, which is a dangerous thing in any society."
"I discovered few of my relatives that are suspicious about the vaccine and they still think that masks are not really useful. I tried to spread a lil of science infos to them but is like to talk to a wall."
The Unbelievable Reality
"That a single man can dispute science with no facts and have millions of people believe him."
"I wouldn't have believed it."
There are some things I just won't say no to. Food, for one. I just love to eat. Bonus points if we're going to go somewhere. Eating can be a very intimate and communal experience.
It's the best, okay? Chinese? Indian? Want a burger? Why don't we hit up a pub somewhere and sit down for a pint and see where our stomachs lead us?
Yeah, my wallet doesn't always like it, but you know what, food is what makes life worth living.
There are plenty of other things out there that people are equally as passionate about. We heard all about them after Redditor fistbump101 asked the online community,
"What is something you can never say NO to?"
"Well, I wouldn't say no to it, but I'd need some pretty darn concrete assurances that it was actually free. People rarely just give away money with no strings attached."
In our time of rampant economic inequality, there are countless people out there who would looove some free money.
"Food. I never say no when offered free food."
To be fair, I think I'd draw the line at a stranger offering me candy...
"Staying in over going out."
You know, even as someone who is pretty much an extrovert... the occasional moment when I've had plans get canceled is a level of joy that I really enjoy experiencing.
"In that order."
"Money, weed, ice cream, sexy times. In that order."
I'm pretty sure Lil Wayne has a song about that.
"Walking in the woods..."
"Walking in the woods when the weather is pristine."
A lovely feeling. Want to feel at peace? Take a nice stroll in the woods. Just make sure to stay on the path.
"My mother's Sunday roast."
"My mothers Sunday roast. And I mean a PROPER. English Sunday roast. With actual gravy, not the American stuff. Roast potatoes, roast leg of lamb, carrots, peas, Yorkshire puddings."
"Especially on a cold, wet, rainy Irish winter day after you’ve just come in from the cold and changed into sweatpants and a warm hoodie. Very particular but amazing."
Oh, you're definitely speaking my language. I love all of that and it's one of my favorite things whenever I'm in Ireland or the UK!
"The best I've done..."
"Buying a pet I want. The best I've done is wait three days but we went back and got the rats."
I hope those rats are doing well!
"Cinnamon rolls and almost anything from Taco Bell that doesn't have beans potatoes or gravy."
You had me until you got into all your Taco Bell stipulations! How dare you, sir or madam! How dare you!
"A big piece..."
"Cutting myself a big piece of chocolate cake."
You had me in the first half, I'm not going to lie.
"A new Xeno game..."
"A new Xeno game from Tetsuya Takahashi and his team."
Ah, I see that you, too, are a person of culture.
Admit it, you have weaknesses too! There is something out there that is your kryptonite!
Have some suggestions of your own to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Nothing is forever. It's a grim reality but no matter how hard we try and ignore it, our inevitable demise looms ahead on the horizon.
And while we individually have our unknown expiration dates, the fate of the human race is an unfathomable mystery that will continue to elude us.
Hopefully, the fateful event is thousands of years beyond our lifetime.
Curious to hear people's predictions, Redditor Nuggl3s7 asked:
"What will be the reason for human extinction?"
Redditors had their sci-fi theories.
Remember Pixar's WALL-E?
"Im gonna have to go with the WALL-E theory that we will turn our planet into a giant waste basket."
We Are Not Alone
"Something from space probably, there is some scary stuff in the void."
An AI Revolution
"We merge with AI end become a different species, thus ending homo sapiens."
It might take one huge impact.
We Would Never See This Coming
"Either a massive space object colliding with Earth, or Mother Nature finally gets tired of our sh*t and concocts a virus 10 times more contagious than COVID and several times more fatal than Ebola."
A Big Bang Theory
"A Coca-Cola truck hits a Mentos truck."
"Every human simultaneously stubs their toe at the same time. R.I.P."
Some speculate the big disaster will be one of our own making.
"Generous of you to assume it will be error. Right now there's a large percentage of the decision makers in the world operating by 'This will have catastrophic effects if everyone does it, but it will be profitable if I do it. So everyone else needs to stop, but I'm not going to, and also I'll be dead by the time the really bad consequences happen so f'k all y'all I guess.'"
"For realz tho…no big catastrophe….just a slow drip of f'k you gimme your money while I ruin the world and whattya gonna do about it brah? Nothing, that’s what. If you can’t stop me I’m gonna do it indefinitely. Big fish eat the little fish. Then eventually no little fish left and big fish go bye bye 👋"
There's A Sad Pattern
"Considering how poorly humanity as a whole dealt with this time's pandemic, and how much we overestimated their intelligence, yeah. 5 centuries is a generous amount of time, I give it 3 centuries."
"This, I think it will be our fault and only our fault."
Growing Lack Of Intelligence
"Gross stupidity. In less than 500 years max."
Many Redditors speculated our own shortcomings would inevitably be the end of us instead of a meteor shower or a hostile takeover of extra-terrestrials.
It says a lot about our lack of humanity, doncha think?
There is little more important than a good night's sleep.
But getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy to come by.
As a result, many people have an important ritual or method which helps them fall asleep easily and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
So much so, that if they attempt to sleep without this method or helping hand, they might find themselves staying awake all night.
Redditor AdministrativeFox784 was curious to hear the things which were necessary for people to have a peaceful night's sleep, leading them to ask:
"What is something you absolutely cannot fall asleep without?"
"Apparently hours of sleep deprivation."- RaphaelSoloTired Stewie Griffin GIF by Family GuyGiphy
Give Your Knees The Support They Need
A pillow between my legs."- frann_ie
A Cool Dark Room
"A fan running and complete darkness."- Dangerous_Effort3355
"My fan on, I'll wake up immediately if it turns off."- keznaa
"Darkness."- MekkoLStar Night GIF by TRTGiphy
"I started wearing them when my wife started snoring like a buzz saw."
"Now I can't sleep without em."
"It's almost become a Pavlovian thing where putting them in almost instantly helps me fall asleep."- fartswhenhappy
When Your Mind Is Racing, It Has To Wear Itself Out Eventually...
"An underlying sense of dread and impending existential crisis."- Bigby11
Soft, But Firm...
"A pillow."- NorthernGamer71pillow GIFGiphy
Keeping You Physically And Emotionally Warm...
"A blanket to hug."
"I curl it up and then hug it."
"I love it Soooooo much!"
"I think this is because I grew out of stuffed animals pretty quick, I was allergic to them, they made cough, and I needed something to replace those fuzzy creatures."- plop8624
Stirring The Imagination To Awaken The Dreams
"Either reading a book or watching a relaxing youtube video."- fh3131
It would be nice if we all had on/off buttons which allow us to sleep undisturbed.
But until we do, our own, personal rituals will have to do.
It's very easy to jump to conclusions about a small sniffle... or noticing what looks like the beginning of a rash.
Most of the time, It's easy enough to rub it off as just a cold, or an allergic reaction which might clear up with some lotion, and thus don't feel the need to alert their doctor about it.
Though others might worry that it could be the beginning of something more serious.
But even with that looming possibility, they still avoid seeing a doctor, perhaps afraid to learn that their fears turned out to be true.
Redditor Kith-Kath was curious to hear from people who refused to get confirmation from a doctor that they may be suffering from a specific illness or ailment, leading them to ask:
"What illness do you think you have but aren't willing to get it checked?"
"Probably depression."- Kho-yi-dwags
Hypothermia? Or Chronic Fever?
"I'm always stupid cold."
"Hands and feet especially."- SimplyJustKarma
"My family has a history of cancer."
"I've lately been having a lot of the same symptoms my dad had when he first got diagnosed."- nottherealneal
"I doubt it's full-on schizophrenia, but sometimes I hear things other people don't, or see distinctive things out of the corner of my eyes that aren't really there."
"Idk, one time I was at work and saw a customer in my peripheral, but when I turned to go take their order no one was there."
"Also, I was recently at a park on an overcast day."
"I was chilling on a bench with some friends, and I noticed the mulch moving weirdly."
"We all looked in the same spot at the same time, after I had mentioned it, they wanted to see, and although I saw it happen, they didn't."
"And it wasn't this subtle little movement."
"It looked like tiny little explosions in the mulch."
"At random spots, it would just go flying, like the smallest land mine just went off."
"It was f*cking impossible to miss."
"I have enough mental illnesses as it is, I don't want to lengthen the list." -Reddit
"I think I’m on the spectrum."- TheCanadianRedHood
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
"I already know for a fact I have OCD/Hoarding issues, but I don't have the money or time to deal with it, and honestly, it's not a huge problem."
"But I sh*t you not, watch the show 'Monk' and just imagine the main character is a Black guy in Detroit and you know me backwards and forwards."- ThatGamingAsshole
"OCD and maybe Dyslexia."- UnstableThought
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
"I think I have IBS but don't want to go to the doctor about it."- No-Understanding8583
"Some kind of bowel disease."
"Been having diarrhea chronically."- Reddit
Deafness Or Hearing Loss
"I think I'm going a bit deaf or have some kind of auditory processing disorder."
"My left ear rings and if I am going to understand someone I have to watch them talk to hear them if that makes sense?"
"I have been a bit worried because it has been getting worse."
"I hate having to ask someone to repeat themselves three times before I understand what they are saying."- sfoxx
As we are, hopefully, coming to the end of a global pandemic, it's understandable to jump to worrisome conclusions regarding our health.
But if you think something seems off, and doesn't seem to go away after a day or two, always check in with your doctor.
As it could be the beginning of something much more serious.