This is part 1 of “So You Want to End the Pandemic But Don’t Know How?” and it’s something that must occur first, since much is resting on believing chronically ill patients, recognizing that our current medical tests do not detect or support a multitude of chronic illnesses (with many patients receiving “normal” results despite being seriously ill), and combating the personal biases and judgements of both the medical profession and the public - all rooted in #ableism - that reinforce this notion that “you have to see to believe” someone else’s lived experience.
And in regards to the current pandemic, we’ve tried to stress the severity of this virus - if left untreated in patients, where it’s then enabled to develop into the chronic #postcovid19 condition known as #longcovid - but our pleas have largely been ignored by the public. As a result, and as studies are now showing, the lack of focusing on and tending to the chronic trajectory of #covid is now causing a dangerous pandemic path of unique viral mutations, originating in the immunocompromised populations. In the populations that are and have been ignored for decades...because of ableism. In the populations not even prioritized for vaccination despite needing it personally (and now scientifically!) more than others.
Covid is forcing us to focus on the issue that ableism creates, and urgently: considering the logistical difficulties of mass vaccination (which would theoretically and eventually lead to herd immunity and less unexpected mutations), we have another option if we want to thwart further variants from occurring. It’s acknowledging, believing and innovating around #chronicillness.
We have focused the majority of this pandemic on just the acute phase, neglecting to see the criticality of also focusing on its chronic path. As science now shows, we cannot really stop the acute without really addressing the chronic.
This is a foundation of why the pandemic has escalated the way it has, and it is the reason why we are witnessing numerous variants of this virus: because we’ve ignored the chronic illness community for so long, that it’s enabled this virus to find the perfect, neglected hosts.