Throughout this pandemic, Darien and many neighboring communities (and the country) have truly seen some of the most exemplary displays of the human character.

We’ve seen first responders and medical staff race to the front lines risking their lives and isolating themselves from their loved ones as a result — only to help the sick. We’ve seen neighborhoods get together to donate thousands of meals to hospital staffs. We’ve seen Darien residents celebrate the nurses and doctors in their neighborhoods with signs and cards. We’ve seen the town administration, school district admin, nonprofits, and local businesses work together to feed students, seniors, and families in need. We’ve seen the celebrations of applause and sounds on Saturdays at 7 p.m.

But as with all in the world, there’s always a flip side. Since the beginning, we’ve seen some use this pandemic as a political battle. On a smaller scale, we’re seeing signs that, faced with a potentially deadly disease, some are beginning to think with an “It’s all about my safety and convenience” outlook on the world.

To begin with, numerous supermarkets in Darien and the area have had people who are shopping leave their protective gloves behind in carts and parking lots after shopping. This is, to put it mildly, gross. Those wearing these gloves are attempting to keep from getting germs on their hands, which means those possibly contagious germs are on the gloves. Who do shoppers think are going to go around and dispose of those properly?

As we see in this op-ed from a Darien High grad, grocery store workers are already going above and beyond dealing with doing their jobs during the pandemic. It takes five minutes to find a receptacle to dispose of them. Or if not, bring another bag with you to safely isolate them until you get home. Dropping them on the ground or worse, leaving them for the next shopper to contend with it is the ultimate “me first” attitude. Using this protective gear means disposing of it properly — and that doesn’t mean passing it on to the next person to deal with who is just as eager to avoid contamination as you are.

We’re also seeing signs that some patience is wearing thin due to longer lines and not being able to purchase everything customers want from local retailers. Palmer’s Market has gone above and beyond throughout the coronavirus pandemic, offering home delivery to infirm and at-risk demographics. The market has coordinated volunteers to shop and worked with local first responders to deliver the groceries. It has kept the community informed when new stock has come in. So it is disappointing to read the store is asking, via social media, for customers to treat its staff with decency when things run out, when things harder to stock cost more, or just in the day-to-day shopping experience. Read that post here.

Flour Water Salt Bread, a specialty eatery in town, recently posted that it had been the subject of anger via online messaging or its workers even yelled at in person because some shoppers were impatient over long lines or because they were unhappy with the ordering process.

These are just two examples that were posted publicly — but it is very unlikely they are the only ones. Darien is lucky to have local independent businesses still open and able to provide their sought after food and groceries.

We’re all going through the same thing — some of us have it better than others. There are many who would love to be able to shop for groceries or wait in line for their specialty bread items who are too afraid to risk their compromised health. There are those who can’t afford even a meal, let alone shop, because they are unemployed due to this mess. There any many who are ill right now and suffering from this pandemic or have family members who are suffering. The future is uncertain for all. Everyone is angry and impatient and most of all, scared. It isn’t just about you.

Flour Water Salt Bread’s message on its Facebook page put it best — “Please take a breath, relax, and be thankful that you still can.”