My Life Is More ‘Disposable’ During This Pandemic

My Life Is More ‘Disposable’ During This Pandemic

 

Like many people all over the world, I am not leaving the house now. For me, though, staying home is nothing new. I am in bed as I write this, propped up by my usual heap of cushions, talking to other sick and disabled people all day on my laptop about how the hell we’re going to care for one another in the coming weeks with a gnawing feeling of dread in my belly.

The news doesn’t look good: There are more people sick; less relief is coming. The “reassuring” public service announcements are no better. Countless messages from my dentist, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and from my child’s playgroups tell me not to worry because it’s “only” chronically ill people and elders that are at risk of severe illness or death. More than one chronically ill friend has quipped: “Don’t they know sick and old people can read?”

The pestilence of ableism and ageism being unleashed is its own kind of pandemic. In Italy, they’re already deciding not to save the lives of chronically ill and disabled people, or elders with Covid-19. The rationale is twofold: We are less likely to survive, and caring for us may take more resources. This is not an unusual triage decision to make in wartime or pandemics; our lives are considered, quite literally, more disposable…

The feeling of being disposable is not new to me. It is knitted into my bones and sinews. It lives in my cells and the parasites in my gut. I already knew that for many of the doctors and policymakers that my health depends on, that my transgender, fat, disabled body is simply worth less than others’ bodies. This is even more true for my black, brown, poor, disabled and ill friends…

Read more at The New York Times…