The other day, I watched footage of mass graves being filled in New York. Wooden boxes with names scrawled on top being moved by forklifts into massive trenches. Boxes full of human beings killed by this virus who, for now, can’t even be buried by their loved ones.
In the last week, I have seen countless videos of sobbing nurses and doctors recounting stories of being overrun with cases in their emergency rooms and of watching patients die alone in hospital beds.
I’ve seen the names of dozens of health care workers who have died of this virus. There’s a list. It’s alphabetized. It’s devastating. And I’ve seen the ones still going in every day, exposing themselves in inadequate PPE and without the backup they deserve from their administration. They’re staying in hotels, undressing in garages and sending their children away to keep them safe.
I’ve seen medical researchers and professionals share their knowledge with the public free of charge and plead with us to listen, only to be told that they’re fear-mongering or lying.
And I’m done.
I’m done seeing people say it’s just the flu or political posturing. I’m done hearing “why can’t we just” or “you can’t tell me what to do.”
I’m done seeing people treat the three fringe articles that say this is no big deal like gospel while ignoring the hundreds of articles that contradict that.
I’m done seeing people say “show me evidence” and then invalidating well-respected, peer-reviewed medical sources because they say something they don’t like.
I’m done seeing people demean the career of Dr. Fauci, a brilliant 79-year-old man who has dedicated his whole life to public health, who is sleeping four hours a night, who is dealing with enormous pressure and stress and is human — because he says things they don’t like.
I’m done seeing people respond to the loss of human life with sarcastic comments, willful ignorance, me-first rhetoric and “I’m just saying” clickbait memes.
You have a right to your emotions — fear, anger sadness. I’m not blind to the economic impact and the human suffering it’s causing. I don’t think we should be locked down for years or cancel school forever. I’m not saying the authorities have responded flawlessly. As with most things, there are extremes everywhere.
But if compassion is beyond you, if you can’t get past your own bitterness to put others before yourself, and if your politics are putting blinders on your kindness, I have no patience left for you.
Mass graves. Health care professionals reduced to helpless tears. And some of you, still rolling your eyes at them.