A story about living under Covid19 lockdown:
You can’t avoid it even if you walk around not wanting to read anything about Covid19, invariably you will hear about it. Print media, social media and often well-meaning family or friends will send you the latest updates. I often think that if I was burrowed in a hole hibernating somewhere that a pigeon would be sent by someone to deliver the updates to me.
The headlines scream; “The elderly and those people with compromised immune systems are at risk of dying!”
Wait a minute! What? That’s me they’re talking about. I am one of “those” people.
I don’t want to die now, at least I would prefer not to die now as one of “them” and go down in history as a statistic!
Even soldiers that died in wars have been remembered in some manner. Their names appear on a plaque or in some history book and more often than not their family are given a medal to indicate their bravery in dying while fighting for their country and its citizens.
What do people that die of Covid19 receive other than a cursory mention as an additional number to the number before? I don’t want to be part of an increase as if the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are casually participating in one of those marketing surveys you find at a shopping mall.
“Good day, Mam, could I have 2 minutes of your time?” An eager young person in their twenties asks you tentatively.
“Yes, but hurry up,” you say as you’re rushing to the shops.
“Do you have a compromised immune system?” They casually ask.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I…” You start.
“Oh good,” the marketer interrupts, “would you mind very much if you just exposed yourself to the Corona Virus? You stand a chance of being in the group that will die from it?”
“Wait…” you splutter.
“For your sacrifice,” they continue as if you haven’t spoken, “you will be rewarded with being buried in an unmarked grave, become a number that will be added to the global statistics and as a special bonus, you will not be allowed to say goodbye to your family and friends but will instead be spoken about as if your life never mattered.”
I have never professed to be a martyr, not that I am a coward, but given a choice, if I had one, I would like to be remembered as more than a mere number.
The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are being treated like sacrificial lambs. “Quarantine “those” people and let us get back to work,” is what we constantly hear. Without taking into consideration that we may feel frightened, anxious, and helpless in the face of this giant pandemic that threatens to flatten all of us not healthy enough to run marathons.
We belong to society and as much as we are vulnerable, we have throughout our lives learned which foods to eat, which herbs to use to boost our bodies and which vitamins to take so we can live a life that, though slower or safer than most people, is still the best life people like us can live.
I don’t resent having a compromised immune system. I resent the assumptions that people like me don’t matter. I resent healthy people walking around with no mask, or touching goods as if only their life matters. I resent having been careful to take care of my body to the best of my ability only for some selfish, self-centred person to come into my space and to decide I have no right to live. To hand me a potential death sentence as casually as if I were asking for the time.
I am tired of being under lockdown much like everyone else is but I am petrified to walk around a mall and be in contact with people who don’t seem to care that people like me are struggling to stay alive physically and mentally with the extra burden of having to be on the lookout for others inconsiderate behaviour.
The people you refer to as “they” are the ones that have sat in the sand for hours on end and painstakingly built a beautiful castle with nothing but a bucket and a spade only for a bully to walk up to the castle and trample all over it, destroying it in a second along with the time you spent building your fantasy castle.
We now have the additional worry of having to watch and attend to healthy people’s behaviour as well as fighting our bodies to stay alive.
People with compromised immune systems have now been compromised by those that are in good health.