You can’t please everybody.

That’s something I’ve come to realise, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

On some issues, both sides have completely valid concerns, and assuaging one concern fundamentally means that you can’t resolve the other.

For example:


Some people think a lockdown is the best way forward to try to preserve as many human lives as possible, or because they themselves are elderly, or whatever. Or maybe they lost someone, and don’t want anyone else to go through that.

Other people have lost their jobs and businesses but still have debts to pay. Maybe they were just scraping by to begin with. Maybe they were due to start a new job, and that isn’t happening now, so are unemployeed with their regular expenses. Very valid reasons, at odds with the previous group.

Continuing to lockdown will make the first group happy and make things much worse for the second group. Ceasing the lockdown does the reverse.

Trying to meet in the middle - perhaps by letting young people work but restricting seniors - doesn’t necessarily satisfy everyone either. Some from the first group will think that not enough is being done, whilst some members of the second group - particularly businesses like restaurants - may need a full lifting and return to normalcy for their business to be viable.


When the virus first hit the news, many people were very anxious and wanted to close the borders. For some people, they also thought that this should include people from their own country whom were currently abroad.

When governments announced that they were funding repatriation flights, many were outraged that “people who decided to take a holiday during a pandemic” were using public resources. The fact is, some countries weren’t letting people out, so the individual was powerless to act.

Naturally, you would think that government should repatriate people if you or someone you know was stranded abroad. I was in this group, though I made my way home on my own funds. Many people went abroad before the virus was known about at all, so can hardly be held responsible. Their only potential failure would be not returning home sooner, which for many could be an expensive endeavour.

I have no idea what pleasing everyone would look like here. Many individual would struggle to afford the flight home given the costs the government were incurring.

Border Closing

It was controversial when the USA decided to deny entry to travellers who had been China. When it was announced in early February, many said that such an action was uncalled for, racist, whatever.

I personally agreed with it at the time, and was wondering why more countries weren’t doing it. (Later, I wondered why countries weren’t locking down sooner, too).

Now, even with that measure, the USA is still one of the worst hit (or the worst, depending on how you measure it) countries in the world.

I wonder what the situation in the US would have been if that action wasn’t taken. Would those people who in reality had complained about it, eventually have come to ask for it to happen? I’m not sure, but it’s a scenario where you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

Preventative Measures

This sort of relates to the border closure idea, but as a more abstract version of it, and I’m sure that I’ll write more about preventative measures later.

It’s frustrating how people react to them.

If you take a preventative measure, and nothing happens, then people will be angry.

If you don’t take a preventative measure that later turns out should have been taken, then people will be angry.

The big irony is that sometimes, preventative measures are taken, successfully (but invisibly) preventing whatever catastrophe, but it appears that it was pointless and that nothing happened. So people get angry.

Short Conclusion

These are just 4 examples of scenarios where it’s impossible to please everybody.

No matter who you are trying to please, there will always be someone with a diametrically opposed need who will become upset by whatever you do. The world is just so big, with so many people, and so many points of view, that you simply can’t avoid it.

Trying to please everyone results in a mediocre middle ground that pleases nobody, nay, satisfies nobody.

P.S. I'm late to the party, but I recently got a twitter account that you can follow here.