Writing in the Time of Peril: 3.25.2020

The US CDC reported 33,404 total (confirmed and presumptive) COVID-19 cases and 400 deaths nationwide on March 23, more than double the number of cases reported on Friday and just shy of twice the reported deaths. The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 46,485 US cases and 591 deaths as of 8:45 am on March 24. 53,000 cases, and 755 deaths as of 6 pm PST; 59,000 confirmed cases, 3,000 more than the day before and 809 deaths, 55 more than the day before on March 25. 11:00 am PST. 

–”I am living smart, listening to the President, the CDC guidelines like all people should, but I am not living in fear of Covid-19. What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening to this country. And you know, Tucker, no one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren? And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in

Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy Texas official, Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick tells Fox News: ‘Do we have to shut down the entire country for this? I think we can get back to work.’

Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick is expressing and broadcasting something most doctors, scientists, and medical ethicists critically important about how Elderly, Vulnerable and Othered populations will be treated in these Covid-19 times. Italy has expressing and enacting their form of medical care rationing that targets the elderly for non-treatment. 

Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick articulated what scientists, doctors and medical ethicists have been loath to give voice to. That the scarcity of planning, resources, coordination, and excellent science will present political and medical professionals with choices about whose life is worthy of giving access to medical care, worthy of saving, and valuable enough to expend finite resources on. 

Patrick gives expression to a message that demands that his target populations, that is, elders like myself specifically, should sacrifice our lives for those lives deemed more viable and valuable. The lives of the poor, the homeless, people living with disabilities, asylum seekers, immigrants, people of color, and elders could be deemed less worthy to receive life-saving interventions. First responders, doctors, nurses, and essential workers, and too many others, may well become expendable as well. Even with a highly efficient, functioning, and well–coordinated government resources to address the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors and medical administrators will be making decisions about who will live and who will die based on the scarcity of resources. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/25/coronavirus-patients-do-not-resucitate/

Let me be perfectly clear, I will not sacrifice my life nor the lives of my neighbors nor poor people nor homeless people nor people living with disabilities nor critically ill people nor people being cared for in nursing homes and living in elder housing, nor people in ICE detention facilities and detention camps, nor children in juvenile residential and detention facilities, nor people in mental health facilities, nor people in jails and prisons nor first responders nor all essential workers. All of our lives are worthy.

I will fight with every breath in my body to save and preserve my life, the lives of my family, my friends, my communities, my nation and my world. I will keep connected to, support, show up & stand up for all of us to constantly pursue our own and each other’s equal and inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

I am not afraid today. I’m going down my to-do list of selfcare: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there a very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. I put on Tracy Chapman’s Where You Live album. I listen to the whole album, but I repeat, “Would You Change,” whenever it comes on. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA



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