When People Are Stuck in a Pandemic, They Dig up Other People’s Past — Lessons From a Pandemic

Olapeju Kazeem
3 min readJun 29, 2021


Photo by Edwin Hooper from Unsplash

The pandemic has succeeded in bringing all cracks to the surface. From politics to your personal life, most of the things we tried to hide were unearthed without grace or mercy. If you were a public figure, these things were unearthed by others.

I honestly believed that being confined to our houses would give us the much-needed time to reflect on our lives and the world in general. Who was I kidding?! It’s clear that people don’t like thinking about their lives and would much rather focus on other people as a form of escape.

That’s why 2020 saw a record number of popular figures being “cancelled”. Some of them were warranted, others were just comical. What struck me the most is the length people went to dig up people’s past, and by “length” I mean how far back into the past.

The Mark Wahlberg Case

The situation that prompted me to write this article was the one with Mark Wahlberg. He committed some violent racist crimes back in his teen and was convicted. Indeed, these were truly heinous crimes, no contest there. The thing is that these crimes were committed three decades ago. Obviously, throughout his career, people have brought it up from time to time, but last year could have been his biggest undoing. I can’t remember where I first saw the post, but I decided to check out Wahlberg’s latest Instagram post to see what the comments said. And surely, it was people attacking him for the things he did. I was shocked because the allegations were serious. I couldn’t understand why he still had a career, so I decided to read more into the claims and discovered that we had dug up a 30 years+ issue. I face-palmed so hard. If you have to bring up someone’s past from 30 years ago, doesn’t that say something about their character? The fact that nothing about his present character is similar to the crimes committed 30 years ago should have been a major flag. I laughed so hard at that realization because people clearly had too much time on their hands.

Did you reflect on your life?

How much reflection was really done during the pandemic? How many people spent their time spilling their rage and dissatisfaction about their lives online, at other people? It was honestly a cruel time for anyone remotely famous.

I think we need to have a common agreement on what is admissible in the pursuit of ending someone’s career. For one, if you have to go more than 5 years back, it’s inadmissible. If it’s about their personality, it’s inadmissible. How many of us have colleagues we don’t necessarily like but are actually good at their jobs? We shouldn’t be “cancelling” people because we think they are not nice or friendly, I find that extremely childish. And for good measure, if there is no pattern, it should be inadmissible as well (except if it has to do with assault or a crime on another person, once is enough for things like that).

Finally, if you are part of the group that attacks people, make sure your house is built of diamonds.



Olapeju Kazeem

I love to think about the world and how it could be a better place. Maybe writing my thoughts would bring some life into these ideas.