Fear, disgust and avoidance are the hallmarks of interaction with those who have or have once had the COVID-19 virus, as I can attest to from firsthand experience.
Contracting the virus has led me to face a new reality, and has left one though burning endlessly. Those of us who have the virus, or have had it, are by no means the virus itself. We are not some sick creature, we are not some harbinger of death, and we are not something to fear, so stop treating us that way.
People must realize that people do not choose to contract it, as most of us were exposed through work, and that a little understanding goes a long way. For those of us who have recovered, we simply wish to return to a somewhat normal way of life, and that is not possible with the constant fear we seem to face, or the way we lose some level of humanity after having contracted it.
While the support is there throughout for many of us, that support is hindered by those who show disdain and disgust for those with the virus. The reality is that many people who have it got it by being on the frontlines with no choice but to take the risk to make sure others had the services and support they needed.
Just because the virus once lived within them doesn’t mean that they are some sleeper agent of death. After quarantine and care they wish only to return to standard life, or what’s left of it.
A simple message, and one with a simple remedy. For those of you who treat those who have had Covid no differently, you are thanked and appreciated. For those who do not, your fear and worry is understandable, but please make the effort to understand what we have faced.
In fact, this requires little effort on your end. Don’t strive to not treat people differently, simply just treat them the same. Just because they had the virus does not mean that in the future they are still someone to avoid. So long as proper care has been taken, your understanding goes a long way.
Friendships, bonds, and family ties are more fragile than ever in a time when all we have is digital communication and hardly any face-to-face interaction. Sometimes shunning someone is all it takes to sever that tie irreversibly.
So don’t treat us any differently because we had it, because we’re not the virus itself, we just simply had to battle it up close.