If Corona Virus is Going to Kill Me, Let it Kill Me.
And stop telling me how to wash my hands, I knew how to do that before Corona. (A take from the immunocompromised.)
The most vulnerable group to the COVID-19 virus are those with pre-existing conditions. As a person who belongs to that group, the fear and frustration towards those taking the virus lightly and not taking the necessary precautions to keep public areas clean and pathogen-free, are rightfully mine. If anyone is to get violent and irrational — it’s me.
Yesterday night I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline, as I often do when I am too fidgety to get any real work done, I came across this tweet:
A friend of mine, who also has pre-existing medical issues, shared it with a vengeance — calling out anyone who spoke lightly of the epidemic. Though I can understand the sentiment, I simply could not get behind it. It’s easy to see something like this tweet, feel seen and apart of something, and then jump on the bandwagon. Especially as a member of the minority, it can be enticing to live in victimised spaces of hurt because of how small a presence we take up from day to day. However, I feel it’s best we keep a level head and fight a longer, more meaningful battle rather than let our blood boil in the stupid hysteria that is Coronavirus.
Despite what the media is allowing you to think, Coronavirus isn’t that life-threatening. Depending on a range of factors: your age, sex and general health and the health system you are in, the mortality rate for the virus is likely a bit less than 2% (BBC). In fact, the majority of coronavirus cases are “mild cases” and go unreported due to the shared symptoms with many other viruses.
And although I and other disabled folks with pre-existing medical conditions are of the 2% of people most at risk of dying at the hands of the new virus, I really couldn’t care less about it. As a person with a physical disability, I am always at a larger risk of dying than other able-bodied people. If their risk doubles, mine triples — and my hospital bills, supplement lists and daily burden will forever be steeper than the average person with or without a COVID-19 on the horizon. This is the reality of being disabled, and the fact that most people are not fatally at risk from the coronavirus is irrefutably good news.
A statistic that is often thrown around is how likely a person is to meet in a car crash or related accident. Hysteria has everyone feeling like their biggest thing to fear is coronavirus, when it isn’t. Life is dangerous, and we are all capable of falling to its traps. In the United States, 6% of overall deaths are a result of an unintended injury, above the death toll of respiratory diseases, strokes, influenza, Alzheimers and diabetes. Regardless of this fact, people aren’t avoiding cars or staying away from aeroplanes — they are continuing to live their lives, as they should. In fact, I am being coaxed to get my license at this very minute.
This flu season 2020, there were at least 32 million cases of flu in the United States, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 flu deaths. This being from a virus we understand and already have vaccines against. Consideration for others through hygiene is a concern for me 24/7, 365 days of the year, and the outbreak of coronavirus does not change that sentiment. I have no will to jump on the already apathetic case of the able-bodied during a time of hysteria, instead, I wish they learnt a thing or two about general hygiene and stuck with it for a change.
The truth and the facts are that long before coronavirus, I was at higher risk to die. That has been a part of my truth for a long time now, and I have chosen to live my life according to what makes me happy and not what has me stationary in fear. With my illness, if I were to meet in a car crash, I’d be dead. No doubt about it. Yet, even though that is a statistically likely way for me to go, I go outside every day. And I drive in cars. Wild. I guess I don’t fear death. If coronavirus is going to kill me? Let it kill me.
DM me on instagram, if you too do not fear death: @takteresa_