Not in My Name by I. Ratel
Gather round, USAians, freedom lovers, and degenerates! I come to you today with a short personal rant in response to a hysteric child apparently living in the body of an adult. One of my news apps brought me this admittedly rather eloquent temper tantrum from Teen Vogue: No Airline Mask Mandate Means Disabled People Like Me Are More Isolated Than Ever
Ok did you read that? Holy shit. This one hits a nerve for me, because I’m in the same category as the author.
I’m an organ transplant recipient with a severe autoimmune disorder. I rely on a prosthetic device for daily life. I’m missing some organs and necessary body parts and on 3 immunosuppressive drugs. For my group my docs figure a case fatality rate with COVID between 5 and 10%, compared to the less than 1% for the population in general.
The writer of this op-ed writes quite capably, but she needs psychiatric treatment. I’ve been an essential worker for the last 2 years, working in my office and commuting. I have several kids attending school. I attend school events, I’ve done the grocery shopping every week, because these kids eat a ton. I’ve traveled by air and road, adopted dogs, visited family and friends, attended concerts, gone out for occasional date nights with my wife, and really made zero major life adjustments due to the pandemic. I’ve lived almost 20 years severely immune compromised and have learned to live in a world that’s constantly trying to kill me. During the pandemic I was hospitalized twice for infections, both times for cellutitis from small wounds incurred in my extracurricular activities. That’s how easily pathogens get me, a little sliver of wood caught under the skin and 2 days later I’m in the hospital for 3 days of IV antibiotics. Pneumonia has come damned close to killing me more than once in the last 2 decades.
Yes, there’s a decent chance Covid will kill me, but there are hundreds of influenza variants floating around the globe, and millions of other pathogens that will do the same. The writer here needs to get over her panic and live her life. As disabled people we can’t expect the world to be built around us. We have to figure out how to live in it. Nobody but me is responsible for keeping me safe. Despite the challenges inherent to my condition, I am responsible and cannot expect the world to conform to my specific needs and if I were making them, demands.
This was a very eloquent piece of emotional manipulation. It’s no different from a toddler’s temper tantrum because the intent is the same. The intent here is to overwhelm you with emotion and pity so you’ll cave in to the toddler’s unreasonable demands. Nobody is stopping the writer from wearing a mask if she chooses to. Nobody is stopping her from taking a solo road trip if she deems air travel too risky. She needs to actually deal with her fear. It’s called therapy, and most of us could benefit from some.
I’m disabled, at severe risk of death or major complications from Covid and this histrionic baby doesn’t represent me. I’ll add even more emphatically that the “normal” people who are STILL bleating about us poor, vulnerable people DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. I am not their mascot to be pitied in order to excuse their fear, I do not acquiesce to being used as an emotionally loaded bludgeon against people trying to live their lives. The world tries to kill me every day, and every day I say “fuck you” and go about my life. I’m responsible for my safety and I do take what I have determined to be prudent measures for my own protection, and nobody’s free agency should be constrained by my unique circumstances. The world doesn’t revolve around me, and it doesn’t revolve around Hannah Sullivan Facknitz, and she needs to get over that harsh little truth.