“It’s interesting that we ascribe freedom to the individual. In theory, considering your own freedom to be important should mean respecting someone else’s too. I think that second part becomes neglected. Things get fuzzy when exercising our own freedom can compromise others.
When I see pictures of leisurely crowds on sunny days, it’s hard not to feel betrayed. It’s a stark contrast to seeing people trying to survive, both inside and outside the hospital.
It makes me feel unsure about what difference my own efforts will make. It makes me feel a sense of foreboding for what may come weeks from now. It makes me miss my family so much it feels like a physical ache in my heart. What I dislike most is that it makes me feel less like myself, because I don’t typically worry this much.
I hear opinions ranging from identifying systems issues to focusing on individuals who aren’t distancing. My question is why not both?
Why can’t we advocate for more system supports and clearer public guidelines, while also acknowledging that doesn’t absolve our responsibilities as individuals? Stress can erode our ability to retain nuance.
We need to identify how privilege and marginalization impact the ability for people to self-isolate, function, and survive during this pandemic. We need to ask difficult questions about why COVID is affecting certain communities more than others. I believe that we can balance clarity, honesty, and empathy together.
There may be a lot looming over our heads, but there are little things many of us are positioned to do. If you have access to masks, wear one. If you have some to spare, share them. If you must go outside, keep your distance. If you know someone who needs extra support, lend a physically distant but metaphorically present hand. This is an immense opportunity to grow together. We can’t freely emerge from this storm any other way.”