The following letter is a submission from #IAIATogetherApart , set 50 years from now. To see more submissions or submit your own, visit togetherapart.iaia.edu.
Pandemic Letter—April 9, 2020, 1:42 pm, Anonymous
I am writing from a world in which there is no shortage of grotesque heaps of hurt. Assuming that hasn’t gone away, maybe you’re sick of being pat on the head. Maybe you’re sick of being at the receiving end of that hurt. Maybe you’re sick of having to explain why it hurts, or maybe you’re just sick. I take it you’ve heard of COVID-19. Perhaps you’ve been a witness to your grandparent or great-grandparent ranting and reeling about the effect it had on their lives, or maybe told the same stories by your parents. They were stories about how hard they had to work to keep their jobs, or how hard they had to work to educate their children by themselves with countless additional responsibilities. Maybe your elders would say things about how they needed to feel privileged that they had a job at all—from home or at risk. They needed to be grateful that they were slaves to capitalism at the desires of the rich. Maybe your grandparents were children when coronavirus initially began. Maybe your grandparents couldn’t graduate college or high school that initial year. They remember watching their parents struggle to provide, struggle to ration food, some not knowing where their money was coming from after being “guaranteed” their position, but laid off nonetheless. The other side of the coin could be stories of how they remember their parents going out, living as-is, shopping constantly, not wearing masks, or gloves, or caring. Maybe they remember losing someone—a parent, a friend, a child? Maybe they were isolated alone, or without resources. You didn’t live through it, but this is not the depression, 9/11, or the recession of yore. This is different. So much about this disease was unforeseen. It was merciless, fast, suffocating, and unpredictable.
(Continued in the comments) - 7 hours ago