Because nearness isn’t what it used to be. But what might it become? The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much for so many. In the early days of the pandemic, keeping one another safe meant staying home as much as possible and forging new ways of connection. As a privileged person with access to resources and technology, I found myself suddenly working from home, worshipping at home, and discovering that many activities could be done in new ways with just a little bit of imagination and will. The changes that made all that possible, while laudable, were also met with consternation by many in the disability community who had long asked for such adaptation and access. Sadly, though the pandemic is far from over, any halting steps toward sound public health policy that might bring it to an end have long ago fallen victim to the demands of the economy and the so-called “urgency of normal.”
Those who continue to take this deadly airborne pathogen seriously- or acknowledge that it is one at all- are being left by the wayside. Even worse, while Long COVID daily disables more and more people, the disability community is also being cast aside as those new ways of being close, such as virtual meetings and tele-health, for example, are abandoned. Nonetheless, COVID is real, and deadly, and we must continue to adapt to the world we find ourselves in while working to make it better. That will continue to require proximity, closeness; it just may not look like it used to. That’s okay. Subscribe to this newsletter to join me as I keep discovering what that means. A subscription will get you full access to the newsletter and website, and you’ll never miss an update. I hope it’s one small step toward a new kind of closeness. We cannot be human without connection, without proximity. So let’s be human, together. After all, a new world is not only possible, it’s already on the way. Let’s make sure it includes everyone.
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