The blunt Empathy

Aef Setiawan
2 min readMar 31, 2020

Today, you and I, easily track how many people are died during this outbreak. Our government spokesman give a report regularly about Covid-19. You also get the same news from other countries in the world. However, the whole of the victim of the virus is narrated as statistic numbers.

Demise normally is the most pathetic moment in every sapiens life. Human naturally defends and avoid himself from death because it is a big risk. If you died, your history ended. That’s why every human has their own tradition of mourning every family member who passed away.

However, it happens in normal days. When plague and war come, human death just becomes statistical numbers. A field commander will ask his men to count how many his men lost in every battle. Similar to a plague, the number of the victim will count as a statistical number.

The blunt Empathy

Of course, there is no wrong presenting death into a number or statistical order. But when you hear about the number you don’t think about humanity or imagining their family feeling but you just act normal or just anxiety. The bigger the number of death, the more anxiety you are.

Of course, you are not anxious about other fate but with yourself. You nerves you will be the next victim and do everything to make you save. Of course, this not wrong, and our ancestors did the same in the past. But, if this thing happens repeatedly, you will empathy become blunt.

So, watching the death from statistical number unconsciously will kill our empathy. Hearing the huge number of death by COVID-19 in Italy will make worry. Yes, because you imagine the big number of death, not the imagination of every single person who died and their family feelings.

Honing Empathy

Today it almost impossible to avoid the news and information if you connected to the internet. Bu the goal is not to avoid the information, even in particular times you also need the news to make you more careful with yourself. But the problem is, hearing a death in number will blunt the empathy.

So, we need to do a job or activity that bring back your empathy into normal or make it honing again. For me, social distancing is one of form for honing empathy. By stay at home, you decrease the risk transmit the virus to others.

Similar to make yourself sterile by using hand sanitizer or soap for cleaning your hands will make yourself and people around are safe. So, here you have the empathy to others. If you don’t keep yourself sterile, you are possible transmitting virus to them. Your father, your wife or even your child.