The COVID-19 pandemic is about to enter its second year. On March 11, 2020 The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. When the pandemic first started, I noticed that the world had suddenly become considerably more accessible to me. I could finally participate more in a society where I frequently feel left behind due to ableism and inaccessibility. At first, it was an exhilarating feeling.
For many people, remote work, remote schooling, and telemedicine suddenly become the norm. These are accommodations that disabled people must fight for and are frequently denied, despite the fact that they would benefit them greatly.
For me telehealth has been something I have benefited greatly from. I can see medical providers without having to leave my home. Due to my disability, I cannot drive. So, having the ability to see medical providers without leaving my home increases my independence.
In the summer last year, I also started to occasionally use grocery pickup service. Cerebral Palsy often leaves me feeling fatigued. As such, I try to conserve energy as much as I can. In terms of physical activity, I expend far more energy than my non-disabled counterparts. According to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, people with cerebral palsy may need 3 to 5 times more energy to perform the same amount of work as their peers in terms of effort, persistence, muscle control, and concentration due to the way CP affects how people move. Because of this, mundane tasks like grocery shopping can leave me tired. Grocery pick up lets me conserve energy.
When the pandemic eases, I don’t want disabled people to end up being forgotten. My greatest concern is that, as more people become vaccinated and the world becomes more open, these accommodations will no longer be available, even for those of us who need them. The world was less accessible before the pandemic than it is now. The possibility of feeling forgotten again makes me nervous. These accommodations , in my opinion, should remain available to anyone who needs them.
Staff, AJMC. “A Timeline of COVID-19 Developments in 2020.” AJMC, The American Journal of Managed Care , 1 Jan. 2021, https://www.ajmc.com/view/a-timeline-of-covid19-developments-in-2020.
“Cerebral Palsy AND Post-Impairment Syndrome.” Edited by Gina Jansheski, Cerebral Palsy Guidance, Cerebral Palsy Guidance, 19 Sept. 2020, http://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/associated-disorders/post-impairment-syndrome/.