So many people, me included, feel beaten down and depressed. This is bc as we start year 3, we are yet again tasked w the impossible: Carry out difficult, alienating, individual tasks which are doomed to never be enough bc they require a state response that isn’t happening.
So many people feel ashamed to be depressed, like they’re a failure bc they struggle to teach online or they feel privilege guilt for mourning a 3rd birthday w/o their friends.

It’s not you. There’s little any of us can do. It’s the system. And it is ok to feel broken by it.
A friend asked me how to help donate better masks. And it’s not something we can really do beyond a bit of harm reduction. The state needs to produce and distribute masks and tests. It won’t do it, so unless we can force it to, any “charity” will be crumbs. There aren’t enough
masks or tests to be privately bought and passed around, no matter how good the intentions. We need a state level response to systemic problems. There is no level of only being kind or well intentioned enough to stop this crisis.
Meanwhile we do what we can. We engage the power of mutual aid. But bc of the nature of this virus we are often physically alone even in doing this, unable to benefit from the social joy of working together to address cimmunity need. It’s depleting and alienating.
I feel demoralized by how we adapt. As a professor I get invited to Zoom events where organizers offer a Uber Eats or Grub Hub code (I don’t use either and decline). It feels like a harbinger of climate change—the petit bourgeois will sit in air conditioning while gig servants
head out into the heat or into the virus, acting, as someone replied to me, like human shields to become baked or infected on behalf of the class above them.

I wish we were adapting to be more angry, though that is also tiring.
I am mostly—many of us are mostly—just tired and depleted. In part in my activist & academic circles bc the particulars needed for this last wave were long shouted abt. No mystery we’d need tests, masks and better ventilation when we returned to work & school, esp in winter
Yet Biden, Congress, insitutions and the optimization of capitalism itself refused to plan, hold space and prepare resources, let alone address root causes.

So here we are, struggling daily like Sisyphus, trying to mount personal campignsbto address state/structural problems.
Here’s the human shield analogy, from @thellpsx
I also find this analogy about how rain jackets are meant for limited periods of protecting from rain, bht never meant to have a fire hose sprayed at them for months on end
“After we kick the shit out of this disease” those of us who survive are tasked by the late AIDS activist and cinephile Vito Russo to “kick the shit out of this system” so this doesn’t happen again. Bc if the system remains intact, the viral underclass will just grow.
My pet peeves are wondering

“Can I see my friends or will I accidentally kill somebody?”

“Must I freeze out outside or can I go inside somewhere warm—or will doing so accidentally kill somebody?”

“Can I plan something six days or six months from now? Who knows!”
Started thinking of this bc of the ood Dr. @ajbauer. It is getting more chaotic bc it feels endless, the ways we are adapting are joyless, and bc no matter how many ppl die nor how much we sacrifice, until the state & capitalists change, our misery grows.
There are, of course, opportunities for spiritual growth and political solidarity in these time. But as Maxine Wolf said in the ACT UP Oral History, when it comes to social movements, "You need some life." And we are stripped of that when we need it most.
The most painful risk calculation I have made these past couple of years has been regarding funerals. (I write about funerals in my book.) Last month I went to one, but was wracked w worry about transmission. Next week, I'll likely watch one for an uncle online.
But how awful not to able to be with my aunt and cousins as they bury their husband and father. What awful calculations to keep making about harm. "Which is more harmful -- not hugging or seeing my 80 year old aunt in person during her deepest grief, or hugging her??"
*Good Dr ;-)
Doubt anyone assumed this, but I am not saying give up, don't mask, don't vax, don't organize for community, don't petition your govt etc. We do what we must, and so many have been very generous with continuing to fight for their communities.
Everyone transmission we can keep from cascading outward helps.

But I am saying it is quite OK to feel exhausted and depleted and you're not alone if you feel this way.

Also, for all y/our sacrifice, it's not going to end until the state & capitalists do their work.
I also get depleted by how hard we have to fight just to get to the starting hard to get the vote, or to get a wage that allows you to still be exploited, or to get a TEST or a MASK just to still face this pandemic. They grind us down before we get to the starting line
And we who even have time or space to write and read abt this are the lucky ones. We are a country with a half million on the street and a couple million in jails or prisons. Omicron is thriving among them—and they will continue to bear the brunt of this + future pandemics.
There are ppl who think they've done something "right" and others are deserving of Covid. But, generally, I think more of us are here—just worn down by runnin' from the rona for so long, while seeing our leaders are not making the same sacrifices we are

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More from @thrasherxy

11 Jan
I believe it includes Medicaid and ACA plans.

Still 30 million—THIRTY MILLION—have no insurance at all, not even Medicaid!


SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!! "Study: Risk of severe COVID-19 imperils millions of uninsured"

A viral underclass made at every turn!…
Read 32 tweets
10 Jan
I don’t feel like most of us have accepted how bad this is going to make life, nor how many lives it will end. The vaccines are working well at individual protection—but the scale of direct harm & collateral damage of what’s coming is almost as unfathomable as it was preventable.
Vaccines work best at a population level by making them encounter viruses so infrequently, they have fewer chances to breakthrough.

What we have is runaway community spread — like pointing a fire hose at someone wearing a water resistant jacket & expecting them to stay dry.
The good news, such as it is, is that the percent of cases leading to overall hospitalizations and death is much lower than it would have been pre-vaccine; the bad news is that sheer volume is SO MUCH HIGHER than it ever was pre-vaccine—and it's still rising.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jan
1. Extremely proud of our journalism students at Northwestern, and the courage they have to fearlessly report on an institution which has so much power over the grades, housing, food, medical career and futures
2. Journalism gets the goods, and the federal lawsuit cites @thedailynu's print

and "The Weekly" podcast…

reporting from 2019 on treatment given to legacy admissions.
* their grades, housing, food, medical lives, careers and futures
Read 6 tweets
10 Jan
SCOOP: Today on MSNBC, Symone Sanders interviews her former boss, VP Kamala Harris, abt the Democrats' plan to win the midterms by doing—nothing!

SCOOP: Today on Fox, former Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders interviews her former boss, former President Donald Trump!
SCOOP: Today on NBC, Jenna Bush Hager interviews the woman who took over the job last held by her mother—First Lady Michelle Obama!…
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
I will never understand how news media can hire people who were working like YESTERDAY to spin the news media, give them the microphone, then turn around and say "Why doesn't the public trust us?"
Symone Sanders announced her departure from the White House a month ago. It is likely she was negotiating her new job at MSNBC while she was working for the people. How is that ethical? Ppl get angry at workers becoming lobbyists right after leaving govt—how is this better?
Yup. Legislators sell their govt expertise off to the highest bidding corporation after short stints in govt. It is BARELY regulated. But I don't think there is any regulation or oversight of spokes ppl leaving for lucrative talking head gigs at all.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jan
1. Today I was supposed to meet my dear friend, who is an FDNY chaplain, for an outdoor lunch. She had to cancel at the last minute, when she rushed off to a fire.

When I found out why, a familiar rose up in me.
2. My friend had found me a safe place to live when, in 2018, the radiator in my East Village walk up had exploded, spewing boiling water across ceiling, walls, floors. So much hot water scaled the ceiling before the FDNY arrived, part of the ceiling collapsed.
3. Had I been asleep when that had happened, I'd have been badly scalded or possibly killed.

It happened because may landlord didn't do a safety check before turning on the heat that winter.

My landlord was a well-known repeat offender of a landlord.
Read 23 tweets

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