‘Freedom day’

Four face masks with cartoon animals on them
Four masks from Sugar and Sloth

Tomorrow is ‘freedom day’ when the final lockdown restrictions are lifted. What freedom people are currently lacking is unclear but some things I’ve seen are – having to wear a mask, having to check in at shops and restaurants and not being able to meet as many people as they like, apparently this is oppression and we can’t keep wearing masks forever because it’s not normal.

After the first date for ‘freedom day was delayed anti-lockdown and anti-mask (or pro death) protesters marched through London demanding everything be opened up again. They walked passed open pubs, open cafes and restaurants with indoor dining and into an open shopping centre which then had to close because of the disruption they caused (I bet Alanis Morissette didn’t see that one coming).

Cases are rising rapidly despite vaccines, younger people are contracting the virus, there’s another mutation that has been allowed to spread rapidly and again we’re told that more people will die.

Freedom for disabled and chronically ill people looks quite different, the office of national statistics says that 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people were advised to shield. This meant not leaving the house at all unless absolutely necessary, many relied on government food boxes or support from local charities and mutual aid groups that sprung up during the pandemic.

People who are CEV especially those who are immunocompromised are getting told to shield, some people haven’t been out since the start of 2020 and the vaccine may not even work for immunocompromised people or those taking immunosuppressants. Since the start of the pandemic there’s been this message that it only affects the elderly and vulnerable, aside from this not being true these people are not disposable because they’re older or disabled but they’ve been throw under a bus and allowed to die in order to give other people their ‘freedom’.

The other other used phrase (apart from wake up sheeple which makes me want to stab someone in the eye) is of you’re scared stay at home and let people who want to live go out. People who are shielding don’t want to have to stay in or have to avoid contact with their partners, they don’t want to go a year without seeing anyone or not getting the medical or social support they needed and they shouldn’t have to stay in forever because others are too selfish to wear a mask or any other minor sacrifices.

July is disability pride month and once again disabled people are being left to die or excluded from society this time to please the people that are tired of the pandemic. We have to learn to live with the virus, let the bodies pile up on the street and pretend to care with gesture politics like clapping because making sure people can go to the football and trade deals with India are more important than saving lives.

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