They warned when the virus was first named.
They warned when the first cases were reported.
They warned when the spread became global.
They warned when we rethought our prior normal.
They warned when patients questioned why they weren’t getting better.
They warned when doctors were gaslighting survivors who weren’t recovering.
They warned when BIPOC and female survivors still ill were abused and neglected.
They warned when medical tests were showing “normal” results for those still ill.
They warned when employers refused extended sick leave and laid off staff still ill.
They warned when insurance companies refused to pay for services of the still ill.
They warned when the public ignored the pleas of the still ill.
They warned when friends and family ignored the still ill.
They warned when public health officials deemed themselves more knowing of the experience than the still ill.
They warned of the mass economic, healthcare, mental, and societal challenges all would face for not listening to and helping the still ill.
And they warned and warned for decades, and our ear plugs made of #ableism made it impossible to hear their compassionate cries.
They warned and we got sick. And stayed sick.
And they tried for years before to tell us of the challenges and wrong-doings that they faced, but we (the vast majority of us blind to their realities) ignored.
“It doesn’t effect us so why should it matter?”, we’d rationalize, blind to the future. Blind to how fragile our temporary and susceptible bodies are.
And they warned out of love and we ignored out of prejudice and bias and denialism. Even the good-hearted ones. Out of ignorance, chosen or not.
And now that #longcovid patients - in the magnitude of 20-40 million globally, and growing, all rapidly chronically ill due to #covid - are warning, it’s impossible (and criminal) to not hear and heed these warnings. The warnings of a combined community, billions strong: the warnings of the #chronicillness community.
And we cannot ever honestly say that we didn’t see this coming.
This is why listening matters: for all of us.