CW: Death, Eugenics, & Depression
Even though the pandemic has been going on for a couple years now, COVID-19 still concerns me. Anytime I leave my apartment, I feel anxious. In public, I still wear a mask and avoid crowded spaces. Grocery shopping used to be one of my favorite activities. Since the pandemic began, I don’t explore every aisle in the store. I used to love going to Big Y and looking at the delicious baked goods. I used to enjoy going to the arcade, restaurants, and the movie theater.
I no longer enjoy going to the movie theater or anything. I visit my parents and grandmother, but I look forward to going home. I don’t want to catch COVID-19. I feel comfortable and safe in my home, so much so that I don’t like to leave the house.
As a person with Cerebral Palsy, hospitals are constantly overwhelming for me. I hope the doctors would see my life as valuable if I went to the hospital with COVID. Sometimes, I wonder what medical professionals think of me. Yes, I have CP and use mobility aids, but it doesn’t mean my life is less worthy than any other patient.
In Oregon, Sarah McSweeney died of COVID-19 in 2020. The medical staff didn’t respect her wishes to perform life-saving efforts. Like me, McSweeney had Cerebral Palsy. She was nonverbal but had expressed her wishes. This horrifies me. If I were in a situation where I was unable to communicate, would the staff treat me with dignity and respect?
In May, I decided to pursue an associate’s degree in English at the local community college. With each passing day, I grow more nervous. I am reconsidering my decision; due to my anxiety and depression. I am scared to go back this fall. I don’t know how I’ll feel attending classes full-time after not attending in-person classes since 2019. I’ve had a lifelong love of school, but it is now gone. This is frightening to me. I never thought I’d not enjoy academics.
As someone with Cerebral Palsy, the pandemic has been extremely difficult for me to deal with. For people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, the pandemic has been extra challenging. For some people, catching COVID-19 could be life-threatening. I want people to understand that COVID-19 isn’t over, and that many people are still taking precautions.
Shapiro, Joseph. “As Hospitals Fear Being Overwhelmed By COVID-19, Do The Disabled Get The Same Access? .” NPR, NPR, 14 Dec. 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/12/14/945056176/as-hospitals-fear-being-overwhelmed-by-covid-19-do-the-disabled-get-the-same-acc.