Okay, so here is my pitch for you to stay home and not gather for Thanksgiving next week. You ready? Okay, good. Here we go.
My very first Covid week, I started out thinking it was gonna be a rough two week detour. I even have email from the time: “Sorry, will get back to you in three weeks, I came down with Covid” oh the innocence.
The first few days you are just nervous because you have no idea what will ultimately happen, what path of destruction this thing will take. You know you have an incessant and irritating dry cough but you have no idea how bad it can be.
Then your lungs start feeling sticky. It’s the weirdest feeling. Like every time you breath, the oxygen is escaping this sticky mound in your chest. Like you can’t possibly gulp down air enough. And your chest hurts so much.
You have this never ending fever that goes up every 3 to 5 days into the stratosphere. Then comes down and fools you into thinking you are getting better and then it goes up again. You get your hopes up and it crushes you when it comes back. It happens so many times it breaks you
But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is how it crushes your family and friends. I’ll never be able to describe what it was like to break my mothers heart every single time my fever went back up. How many times we argued over her coming up to take care of me.
How she begged me to let her come help me. And how I knew I could possibly cause my mother’s death if I allowed her to come be with me. A thing I wanted more than anything.
How my brother would ask for a text every night before bed and every morning when I woke up because he was tracking whether or not I was alive. The sound of his exhale every time I would sleep so many hours it would make him worry.
How my heart rate would go so high, even opening the door for a grocery or food drop off from my friends, 170 beats per minute or 180 beats per minute. I would get woozy and go lay down after so I could get the energy to put it all away.
How my best friends came to my apartment every week and stood down from my balcony. And we would use our phones like a walkie talkie cause my lungs did not have the ability to project. And how I balled every single time they left.
And then I was “better” meaning my fever went away but left me w/many other problems - trying to get myself to walk down to my car would inevitably require me closing my eyes before I could drive myself to see the ocean from my car. Which I would do because morale is everything.
The day my Mama came to “get me” which involved her packing up my apartment while I laid on my couch trying to keep my heart rate down. I almost fell over various times as we tried to get me able to walk again.
You traumatize your people. And you hate it. The project of keeping you alive consumes you and them. And they can’t even be with you. Because the act of being with you could put them in the same position. It is maddening.
So that’s my pitch. Do everything you can to keep from traumatizing your people. From breaking them and yourself so continuously that it gives you PTSD to just watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Do everything you can to keep them from traumatizing you. Stay home. Be safe.
This is a game of Russian Roulette. You never know what is in the chamber - so don’t play. Arrange Zoom/Facetime parties. Enjoy the day with yourself or your mini-pod you quarantine with.
And like, here is the thing, my family does this big 20 to 30 person Thanksgiving every year. It is my very favorite day. We cut on each other and love on each other and eat and drink to our hearts content. It is truly heartbreaking to me to not have that this year.
And I know many of you, many more than publicly admit it, think this is overblown. That people must be exaggerating the death numbers or that no one you know has this so how can it be as widespread as they say. That a small meal with just a bit of friends and fam will be fine.
And you know what, perfectly honestly, it could be. But the Covid bullet is in the chamber. You cannot guarantee it won’t be shot with your gathering. I tested negative 5 times for this disease. Still have positive antibodies and a long health road left to travel.
I bought a walker/wheelchair so I cam start helping my body relearn how to go on longer walks next week. A walker/wheelchair y’all. I used to deadlift 220lbs and take my dog on at least a 3 mile walk a day. Now I am going to use a walker/wheelchair to relearn extended walking.
But even with all that physical consequence, none of it was worse than what I have done to my family and friends during this time. Please, please, please stay home.
Please feel free to send this to your fam, share with your people, lots of boundary setting happening this weekend. Hope this can help even one person do that with some back up.
Especially given how folks are saying things like this:

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More from @karlitaliliana

19 Nov
For the most part, everyone has covered how messed up, inequitable, and obtuse this is. All I’ll add is that in the many years I have run Fellows/Internship type programs - I have never seen anything a company got for free be treated with any respect. You pay for what you value.
The valley already has a disdain for its underrepresented technologists and acts like its doing them a favor by allowing them in the hallowed doors - making their work free on entry to create an inspection period will only make matters worse.
I wonder if this trial period was put in place cause companies were hesitant to hire their people. It is a common problem in this space. When Code2040 runs into this problem, we push back on the companies, make them give concrete feedback, coach folks so they can spot their bias.
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
All of this and if you have millions and/or billions of dollars, have lived in the bay for 20+ years, played a tangible role in its shifts - you do not get to complain about how badly run it is. You had power and access. You just used it to be a succubus on a beautiful city.
Sometimes, if all you do is take, take, take - you drain something of what makes it good. Be a flippin citizen and make some decisions that don’t just benefit you and maybe you have a decent community to live in. Que pendejadas man.
I think what galls me most is the singular ability to fund recovery from the homelessness struggle, ability to make investments in massive infrastructure, and endow a scholarship for every low-income kid in the city while never having to change your standard of living.
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
This tweet and thread get to the crux of what happens in work places. Marginalized folks point out traumatizing outcomes, majority group folks dedicate themselves to proving bias does not show up in 50+1% of the occasions as if 49% or 30% or 20% of the time doesn’t cause trauma.
I once created a volunteer scorecard at an organization I was a part of. As a part of that I created an NPS score for the experience. The scorecard reflected Black and Latinx volunteers were having a worse experience than white and Asian volunteers.
My boss at the time freaks out about me releasing the scorecard to the organization, says that it will cause a lot of “unnecessary duress for the organization”. Said until I had more than one instance, it could be a fluke.
Read 9 tweets
8 Jul
My family honestly couldn’t fathom what I went through with Covid and are now watching it up close with my Abuela. I cannot think of a more toxic narrative for all this than Covid being a bad flu. It’s nothing like the flu. There are times you can’t breathe when it is pulmonary.
There are other times you can’t breathe and your oxygen is fine, it is neural. You have a good morning that gives you hope and a bad 2 to 3 days. A good two days followed by a bad half day. And none of it tracks to a “oh now I’m getting better” track that our brains are used to.
You have random pains, like someone is puncturing nails into your skin, and then also random shooting pain in random parts of your body. You get fever and fatigue that make you feel like death is near. Then a day later you’re “fine” then you are back.
Read 8 tweets
31 May
I’ve had quite a few people both tweet and DM me about the “call the jails and demand release” spreadsheet asking me “Should we allow those folks to be released if they are the people who are outside agitators. Shouldn’t they be punished? What if we release the wrong people?”
I am nascent in my abolition journey but what I have unpacked for myself at this point is this - if we respect these protests for what they are - the pushback to overreach of the state to employ disproportionate and often lethal punishment of Black people -
We MUST see how the whole system is not just. Must. And if we accept that, we must accept that whiteness will protect many outside agitators while putting Black protestors in prison.
Read 8 tweets
30 May
I just want to note that only two CEO’s in Silicon Valley are donors for @Code2040. We have been around since 2012. Have placed, supported, trained, and mobilized significant amounts of talent. Have published and discussed the structural barriers publicly.
We had an obscenely difficult time selling fellows program spots this year, as we were told company after company had cut funding for “these kinds of initiatives”. And many had an expectation that we philanthropically subsidize the HR work of their workplaces.
Which is in essence asking Latinx and Black people to do that work, not just for free, but at the cost of their labor in fundraising.
Read 12 tweets

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