I have always known that society views me as Less.
I have always known that those of us with unconventional, chronic health issues are ignored and shoved out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
I have always known that society views me as a burden their tax deductions must pay for.
I have always known that in making a post like this some people will roll their eyes and shift uncomfortably at how dramatic I sound and the ‘fuss’ I am making.
But I never, ever knew just how angry I could get with the world. I never, ever knew how angry I could get at Doctors putting together guides on how to cope with having to self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days or more. I never, ever knew how angry I could get that employers are taking steps to allow people to work from home, something disability campaigners have advocated unsuccessfully for for years. I never, ever knew how angry I could get at the people who feel guidelines on travel and public transport don’t apply to them because they’d survive COVID-19 if they caught it. I never, ever knew how angry I could get at those brushing COVID-19 as not a big deal because it’ll “only” really affect those who are elderly or with pre-existing conditions.
Some people have assured me I’ll be fine because even though my immune system is compromised, my lungs tend to be fine. My response is that maybe I’m not concerned for myself. Maybe I just give a damn about others who are more at risk.
Nine and half years of being mostly confined to my home, often my bed. Nine and half years. And now that people are needing to do just that for 14 days, magazines and newspapers are producing self help guides on how to survive that isolation. If my mum let me swear I would do so right now!
I have always known that I matter less in today’s world. But I have never, ever felt it more than I do now.
Only now, when it isn’t only the chronically ill and disabled within society who are at risk, are they even taking an interest.