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Social media pandemic-shaming on the rise

Pandemic-shaming is being taken to a higher level.

SAN ANTONIO — With the coronavirus pandemic entering its seventh month in the U.S., acts of wearing masks and social distancing are not being practiced by everyone. Even with those that are abiding by the safety measures, they're doing so at varying degrees. 

That has led to an increase in pandemic-shaming, and it is happening on social media too. 

Should you care what others think? Should you post on social media if you aren't following the widely accepted guidelines? Should you be pandemic-shaming? 

"Since March we've really been abiding by the rules and wearing our masks and doing social distancing," said Monica Urrabazo, who told us she knows people who aren't doing those things, but realizes shaming them isn't something she will do. "I see people are inclined to do that, but that's just not something I would do and I don't think I've been tempted to do that either. Each person is going to have their own individual opinion about how this virus is going to affect their lives." 

Psychiatrist Harry Croft agrees with Urrabazo's approach. 

"It is probably best not to post that stuff unless you are looking to get into a fight or pick a fight," Croft said. 

A recent One Poll survey found 54% of respondents plan to keep their gatherings a secret for the time being and refrain from posting on social media. Croft recommended that, if you feel compelled to say anything, make it constructive.

"I think if you say anything at all, you always talk about 'What I think, what I believe, the way I behave,' instead of, 'You are doing it wrong, you are not doing it right, you are going out to eat and you are not social distancing and you are not doing what I believe is right.'"

When the time comes for school to start, respect the decisions of others whether or not to send their kids back, and try to keep the fingers off the keyboard. 

"People should make their own decisions for whatever scenario they have, whatever scenario it is they are experiencing in their own home," Urrabazo said. 

"If you are trying to help people and teach people," Croft added, "say what you think, what you understand the data to be. And leave it at that."