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My Life is Worth More Than a Mask

Healthy family and friends: I implore you to read each slide with an open heart, receptive to a perspective that you may not have invited into your world. To not skim, but to instead read and grasp a truth that your #immunocompromised, #ChronicallyIll and/or #vulnerable peers and loved ones have grappled with since day 1 of this pandemic. A reality that has caused many to experience a deep wound that only the institution of firm boundaries can allow to scab over and heal, should your loved one feel ready or able to let such a wound heal.

Why read with the heart and not the mind? Because the ego will view this perspective as a personal attack and will deflect and reject out of an attempt to protect itself from thinking that it hurt another that it loves. It’ll say things like “this isn’t fair, I shouldn’t have to always put their needs before mine”, and while in ordinary times that’s certainly correct (that balance of compassion for others and self-compassion is vital), during a global pandemic when their very lives are affected by each and every person’s actions or inactions, it’s an out-of-touch mindset if we’re truly discussing someone that you love and care for. It’s life vs. death, with the middle ground of worsening health due to #LongCovid.

Prior to this pandemic, rampant societal ableism has meant that the lives of the immunocompromised, chronically ill and disabled are ‘less than’ that of our ‘healthier’ and more ‘able’ peers and loved ones. Society said that accessibility, government support, and proper medical care and treatments weren’t rights that we’re worthy of. During the still progressing pandemic, that’s now been extended to include a reality that to western society, our lives are meaningless and that our deaths (or worse health outcomes through #postviral illness) are acceptable and, in fact, encouraged, by the priority of “returning [THE ECONOMY] to normal” at the cost of our lives.

Your parent with #cancer? Sibling with #lupus? Bestie with #MECFS? Nephew with #AIDS? All battling an internal war of knowing that to those we love, our lives mean less than a mask.

And to my peers, your hurt is valid and so are you.💜

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