Today marks the 31st birthday of the #ada, also known as the #americanswithdisabilitiesact, and thanks to the @whitehouse, it also marks the day that (some) Long Covid patients have received hard-fought disability rights and protections as it relates to their employment.
I had originally created this graphic with facts and figures relating to how much health insurance companies profit off of chronic illness (the cash cow that they refuse to give up), and how vital even the under-supportive employer-backed health insurance is for chronic illness patients, stressing the necessity of employment (and therefore reasonable accommodations), but the Administration’s update required a change of language.
And while today marks a monumental day for us patients - and because of us patient-turned advocates and our extraordinary healthy allies across government, law, medicine, and science - it is a day to celebrate not a complete victory, but a large step in the right direction.
We have been tirelessly working hard for the staircase of change to appear, and we are elated that we’ve made it to the first step…but we will not declare victory until every single long hauler (and chronic illness patient) is on equal footing, moving forward as Long Haulers with positive tests and/or formal diagnoses move forward, and not left to watch the rights pass them by.
This isn’t looking a gift-horse in the mouth: it’s appreciating the horse and reminding it that its job isn’t done until each person effected is supported.
And I’m cautious to add a “thank you” here because that implies that we got something extra or special, when in reality we simply got RIGHTS. Rights as humans, as citizens, and as employees that we should not have to beg or fight for.
But #ableism will tell you otherwise. That we aren’t owed anything because we aren’t ‘worth’ anything…in a capitalist society that prioritizes profits over people and hyper-productivity over health and happiness.
(Studies linked in comments on my Instagram.)