Privilege in the Time of Covid
Let's begin with professional privilege:
There is so much cognitive dissonance around #COVID right now. So many people acting like it is over while China locks down millions of people, Europe is surging, and hardly anyone I know in real life has returned to work in their office.— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) March 14, 2022
Imagine living in such a privileged bubble that "hardly anyone" you know has returned to the office.
Pre-vaccine when the country was in lockdown, many of us enjoyed this privilege. But even then, far from all of us right? I mean, somebody was delivering our groceries. Somebody was stocking grocery store shelves and ringing up masked shoppers. Obviously, this doesn't take into account health care workers and other first responders. Let's stick to the services that all of us, all of us, used. And I mean used, and then went back to viewing as low-skilled workers.
And now, two years later, one year after the vaccine became widely available, and free, you still hardly know anyone who had to return to the office?
One of my closest friends works for a bank and was able to WFH until October of 2021. But even the banks have been called back now. So what kind of circles do you travel in that no one has returned to their office?
White collar professionals have enjoyed the privilege to WFH during much of Covid, and we all know from personal experience that they were out and about even before the vaccine. Summer 2020 many were out. They were on Fire Island, they were eating outdoors at restaurants. All the while whining that they couldn't be expected to report to their offices.
Fine, you get a pass. Until the vaccine became widely available. And at that point, unless you are immunocompromised (and should receive special dispensation) your pass ended. No more partying while refusing to return to your office.
Just this month I have a Twitter mutual who passed up a better job because it would mean returning to the office, and their current job is WFH for the foreseeable future, and maybe forever. Many people never want to return to normal. And I'm not talking about low-wage workers who found a better way to survive and refuse to go back to their old lives, causing a worker shortage. Good for them. I think it's amazing that so many who were underpaid and treated like shit by their employers and, since usually in the service industry, by customers (likely the same customers whining that they certainly couldn't be expected to go back to work) found a better way.
I'm talking about the professional class. The ones who say they never want to return to normal, and refuse to consider a position that isn't 100% WFH.
They don't give one flying fuck about the small businesses and workers who are severely harmed by the WFH culture. They truly believe the world should revolve around them.
So that's one Covid privilege. Let's talk about another one. Marriage privilege. You don't have to actually be married, maybe just seriously coupled up. Whatever. You want everything closed down and are breathlessly tweeting about "the idiots" who are unmasked. Meanwhile, there are millions of singles who can't really meet anyone wearing a mask. I mean, if you go into a bar or go to see live music, you can't wear a mask, because nobody is. And you aren't going to meet anyone if you are. You won't be able to date.
This was a privilege that really showed itself even pre-vaccine. So many tweets stating "nope. not doing Thanksgiving/Christmas. We can sacrifice seeing our family this year."
"We." We. We.
Now, I didn't do holiday 2020 either, and it's a good thing too because my MAGA brother ended up hosting a super-spreader Thanksgiving dinner. They all got infected and I was thankful my mother didn't go. But my mother did come to my place. She wasn't alone. I wasn't alone. But I read about so many older people who were alone. They weren't a "we". And they talked about being alone and isolated during the holiday, and some of their stories broke my heart. And they were necessary decisions at that time, and they did the right thing.
But imagine being that person reading the thousands of smug and virtuous "we won't be...this year. Happy to make the sacrifice."
These are the same folks still pointing at "the idiots" who are indoors (and even outdoors in a large crowd) without their masks.
Well, guess what? Not everyone is a "we". Are we never supposed to go maskless again? We're triple vaccinated, what are we supposed to do? Bury ourselves alive? Why don't you just kill me now then.
The rubes who are listening to the 3x vaxxed and totally relaxed con artists like Tucker Carlson and refusing to be vaccinated? Some of them will get Covid and die. Some will get long Covid and be disabled. And many of them, will get Covid and be just fine. Covid is Russian Roulette, and I say, sure, load up and start firing at yourselves. I really don't give a fuck.
The immunocompromised have always lived in a dangerous world. The flu can kill some of them. And that can be any one of us, we're just a diagnosis away let's be honest. An extended family member of mine, spent years fighting stage 4 breast cancer. She couldn't come to holiday get togethers pre-Covid. She died prior to Covid. She couldn't risk getting a cold, or God forbid, the flu.
No one ever demanded that the world revolve around her, and if Covid ever goes away, no one will ever demand the world revolve around me if I am in that position someday.
They demand it now because they are loving working from home, and they are home with their family or spouse, they don't need to send out for sex and companionship. And in many cases, they are single and are going out and having a high ole time while whining they can't be expected to go back to the office because Covid. Oh, hypocrisy is alive and well.
And they don't give one fuck about anyone not in their privileged positions. They demand the world revolve around them. They demand that my business stays down because I work in events. They demand I never have sex again. They demand their privileged little bubbles be catered to at all costs.
Well, as my grandma used to say; demand in one hand, shit in the other and see which gets filled first.
I hate the idea that liberals live in bubbles. I personally believe that Jimmy in bumfuck, who knows zero gay people and whose world is white, lives in a much more insulated bubble than I do.
Some say they have always led introverted lives and Covid really didn't change anything for them. And they are happy this way. Well good for you, I applaud your choice to live that lifestyle. But I do not applaud you attempting to foist that lifestyle onto me. I am not an introvert and being isolated and alone is not good for my mental health. I need to go out with my friends, I need to date, I need to have a healthy social life.
Since Covid I have seen the liberal bubble. The smug, I'm better than you, hurray for me too bad about you, bubble.
And I don't care to ever share it. I don't want mask mandates. They hurt commerce and they hurt people who aren't coupled up. Now that the vaccine is widely available, and very effective against serious Covid and death, I don't wear a mask. When there is a wave, like Omnicron, I do and I adjust my social life. Temporarily. And when the wave passes I stop wearing my mask and I start going out again. And that is how I imagine the next 5 or so years will play out.
If you don't like that, too bad. And by the way, that partner you have? Make sure you are fucking them good. You better stay energetic. Make sure you are keeping them happy. You better listen to their stories for the 10th time and act like you just heard it now and it's the best damn thing you ever heard. You better smile whenever you're told to. You better fuck whenever they want it.
Or, you might be single again. And wouldn't that be funny.
And that job? Make sure when your superior tells you to jump you scream 'HOW HIGH". Make sure you are always, always, smiling on Zoom.
Or, you might be unemployed and not in the position of demanding full time WFH. And wouldn't that be funny.
So step lively, privileged people. The worm often turns, and often when it turns for people like you? It's funny.
I know I'll laugh.
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