The armrest on the bus was stabbing me in my side. The seat on the small van was too small
"They're Taking Away Your Right To Be Healthy."
Resistance, and Kanter's law.
There's something called Kanter's Law.
Hold that in your mind.
You might've seen a TikTok video that went viral a couple of weeks ago, where mudflapbrokentire lays out everything that everyone needs to understand about Covid and the government's absolute failure to protect its citizens. Yes, it's really that bad. The experts aren't lying. We're disabling ourselves with an airborne vascular disease that causes brain and organ damage while disarming our immune systems. We're already seeing it, but this is just the beginning. As they say in the video, the government is letting it happen because they can't think beyond the short term gains from forcing everyone to participate in this toxic consumerist economy. As a later video concludes, "They're taking away your right to be healthy, for the rest of your life."
Just recently, Chris Cuomo did a major segment on Long Covid where he and Deborah Birx talk openly about the damage the virus is doing while the CDC continues to ignore the unfolding crisis.
I was feeling like shit before these videos, but they gave me hope. If you've been taking Covid seriously for the last four years, then you know how good to feels just to hear someone else explain things in a clear, compelling voice. It makes you feel not crazy. It reminds you that you're doing the right thing, even it feels almost impossible some days.
We're in a weird place.
On the one hand, a majority of the public still lives in stubborn denial of what we're dealing with. My own extended family has stopped taking precautions. My dad didn't even get the last booster. We just went through one of the hardest holidays yet, dealing with family members who gaslight and pathologize us for treating the virus as it deserves, the most dangerous and most immediate threat we've faced in generations.
I'm fortunate enough to have a spouse that listens to me. For the last several weeks, we've been picking our child up and keeping her home when it's too cold or wet to have class outside. She continues to use masks and nose sprays. We're planning to do this for the foreseeable future. It's not going to be easy. We're basically doing hybrid home school.
As many of you know, it's exhausting. Many of us are doing this while working multiple jobs. We're doing it without any help or support from our families. Almost everyone in our lives just makes it harder.
But there's good news.
Thanks to people like mudflapbrokentire and Cuomo, word is getting out. The tide is turning. Thanks to all the people making noise on social media and bugging their families, while continuing to wear masks and build air purifiers no matter what anyone says, there's a trace of hope. It's the real thing, not the fake stuff. It doesn't feel like that, but it is.
Some of us always knew we were going to need some big names and faces driving public attention to Long Covid. Cuomo is one of them. Mudflapbrokentire is proof that younger generations are paying attention and making the right connections.
A Harvard economist named Rosabeth Moss Kanter described the difficulties that businesses and organizations face in the middle of change. According to her management theory, everything looks like a failure in the middle. Her philosophy has become popularized as Kanter's Law. It's another way of saying the night is darkest before the dawn.
That's where we are now.
Everything looks bleak. We've peaked at roughly 2 million Covid cases per day. This wave will generate millions more cases of Long Covid. Many of us still can't get our own healthcare providers to mandate masks. We can't get our schools and offices to install air purifiers.
Sometimes, it feels like you're moving backward. Last year, we convinced our school to bring back masks. This year, we didn't. We donated hundreds of masks, and they're just sitting in a box. On the other hand, we did get them to use the air purifiers properly. We can rely on them to communicate with us about when to pick up our kid if they're going inside.
That's how things work sometimes. We didn't "win," but we're also not just giving into a maskless life for our child.
Things are changing.
It's not changing fast enough. Millions more people are going to die or watch their lives upended by chronic disease and disability. As I recently learned myself, I've probably suffered some immune damage from Covid. I don't know how bad it is yet. I'm working on it. I just know to protect myself.
And my family.
It's going to take months and years to get things going in the right direction. There's going to be times when we feel depleted, when we need to step back and rest. There's good news there, too. For every person who needs a break, there's ten more who keep fighting.
You aren't the only person who cares. You aren't the only person trying. It just feels that way sometimes. Also, know how human brains and culture work. It takes a long time to change people's minds.
But it happens.
You'd think having been through this with HIV and with tobacco, and a dozen other health hazards, we would've learned our lesson. But apparently, we have to go through this every single time. We have to spend years fighting and demanding the government do its job. We have to inform and advocate. In the meantime, we also have to protect ourselves. We have to watch people suffer and die who could've been saved. We have to endure the gaslighting and denial. It's always hard, and it always will be.
My extremely religious in-laws have tried to tell us to ignore Covid and "trust God." I was talking with my spouse about this, when something occurred to me. I said, isn't the Bible filled with stories about a tiny handful of people doing the right thing, when nobody else will?
Yes, it is.
It seems to me that if you're going to take the Bible seriously, then that book makes it extremely clear that doing the right thing is often extremely hard, and it often puts you in the minority. The entire point of actual Christianity is that you have to do the right thing. It eventually pays off. In fact, I suspect in the original versions, heaven is just a metaphor for the world we could create here on earth if we just did the right thing. It's not some place floating in the clouds. Heaven and hell are the result of the choices we make while we're alive. We live through them.
I've written a lot about Covid over the last year. Here's the highlights for anyone who needs it:
Keep going. Keep masking.
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