I Have an Autoimmune Disorder. Will I Ever Be Welcome to Reenter Society?
I worry that antibodies and immunities tests will divide those who are allowed to reenter society, and those who are shut out
Like everyone else, I live in fear of Covid-19. I worry that I, or someone I love, will contract it and possibly not pull through. I’m apprehensive about the long-term effects on our economy. But, unlike most of the population, I am petrified of the aftermath. I have a dysfunctional immune system, making me especially susceptible to the virus. I can’t help but wonder, how will society view those like me once we completely emerge from our cocoons? Will I be shunned and segregated? Or will I be forced to isolate myself to “protect” my physical health? What will be the cost to my mental health?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the systemic disease that has chosen to take up residence in my body. This disease can affect any organ or any joint at will — often launching its assault in multiple areas simultaneously. My immune system is hyperactive. It goes to 11 and beyond when triggered, wreaking havoc in the process. People with RA are more susceptible to catching a virus, developing infections, and experiencing cardiorespiratory complications. In other words, I’m poised to hit the Covid trifecta.
So, what’s a gal like me supposed to do when restrictions are lifted? Proponents of herd immunity want everyone out and about so we can all catch it, recover, and develop antibodies. That is all well and good unless you’re one of the individuals most likely to not survive such a grand Darwinian roulette.
I realize I am not in the majority. We need to reopen our economy, get kids back in school, and restart society again as soon as possible for it to recover. It would be unrealistic (and selfish) of me to expect anything less. I just wonder if it will be safe for me to go out and play. Will I even be permitted? Is becoming a recluse my mandated future? Human contact reduced to the afterglow of a digital screen.
Currently, I am unemployed. My chosen field, travel and events, has not only been shut down by the pandemic — it has been decimated. In all likelihood, it will be one of the last industries to recover. I…