The stakes

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I want to believe that if I asked most people I know to answer yes or no to one statement—“I am willing to sentence myself and everyone I encounter to death, or lifelong disability of mild to excruciating severity so I can have a cocktail at a bar”—most would answer no.

Hyperbolic and yet not that much of an exaggeration given estimates that 20-30% of people will develop some form of Long COVID, and now the new indications that reinfections are cumulative (pre-peer review)

From the abstract of that paper:

We show that compared to people with first infection, reinfection contributes additional risks of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and adverse health outcomes in the pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems (cardiovascular disorders, coagulation and hematologic disorders, diabetes, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, mental health disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurologic disorders); the risks were evident in those who were unvaccinated, had 1 shot, or 2 or more shots prior to the second infection; the risks were most pronounced in the acute phase, but persisted in the post-acute phase of reinfection, and most were still evident at 6 months after reinfection.

That is very Not Good 😬

At this point I truly don’t give a fuck how tired or lonely you are or how all your friends are going out and you feel FOMO about being at home. For those of us who are high risk? 2020 feels like it was EASY now. The stakes are so much higher and we are much, much more isolated.


It’s bullshit that workplaces are bullying workers into risking lifelong disability for some in-person meetings, and doing nothing to protect them (installing improved ventilation, requiring vaccination, requiring masks given it is most important for the sick person to be masked and one mask doesn’t provide sufficient protection for longer periods of time, making employees work remotely after sickness for ten days not this five day bullshit). I quit my job in part to protect myself from being forced to return to the office and interact with the public, given my risk factors.

The wholesale abandonment of anyone not in good physical health is a horrific new variation of ableism. No wonder disabled people are enraged: on top of all the other shit they have had to put up with in a hostile and inaccessible environment built without considering them, now their ability to even leave their homes safely has been deemed unimportant compared to other people’s desire for normalcy.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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