Just recently, people were forced into isolation to reduce covid exposure, but the gay orgies that spread monkeypox continue unabated.
Like many people, far too many, I lost a loved one to Covid-19. My grandmother came to visit her family a few weeks before she became ill, she was there to show off her new husband, her fifth, having outlived her others. She was perky, sassy, and the happiest I had seen her. She greeted my husband and me with a wide smile and an enthusiastic hug. In her 80s, she had never let anything stop her, but she never anticipated the power of the government.
When she and her husband both tested positive, they were separated. She spent the next week alone, isolated from her family. Covid regulations kept her locked in a room, afraid and crying to see her family one last time. She passed before she was allowed to have the chance. Further Covid regulations prevented us from holding a funeral for her. I had begun making her a quilt, but I wasn’t able to finish in time. All I could think about was all those photos of elderly couples separated by walls of plastic, only wanting to embrace each other.
Yet, for two years, we were all told that these cultural and familial traditions were selfish and dangerous. As Paul Krugman smugly lectured in the New York Times in 2020, “What they call ‘freedom’ is actually absence of responsibility. Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear.”