Speakers for the Dead

ON THE FIRST DAY I WASHED MY HANDS OF IT.

Lots of soap, two “happy birthdays.” Rinse and repeat. 

After the first week my daughter came home because of it; graduated college in our living room thanks to it. 

For months we distanced from it, Zoomed and baked bread and watched everything on the Internet to keep our minds numb to it. My job changed during it (in some ways for the better, in many ways not.)

Some wanted to ignore it, to wish it away, to live in a land of make believe. Too many of us did, and never lived to regret it. 

Two days before Christmas, I got it.

On New Year’s Eve, I thought it got me. 

Now one year from Day One, I’ve still got it – not an active virus, but the lingering reminders like headaches and pain. Not the disease but the guilt of survival, the Post Traumatic Covid Disorder that keeps me out of the room where I quarantined, and that makes any slight discomfort a sign of irreversible doom.

The truth is, what happened to me – to most of us – was nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the hardship and despair endured by those who lost their jobs, their health, their loved ones, their lives.

You were pissed because on day 71 you couldn’t get haircut? You were angry because on day 183 you couldn’t sit inside a restaurant? You complained because on day 236 you couldn’t go to a football game?

C’mon. Seriously, get real. You need a reason? I’ll give you 528,000 reasons and counting, counting, counting.

We, the ones still here, are the speakers for the dead. We speak for them and stand for them and goddammit we wear masks and get vaccinated for them too.

Don’t wash your hands of it. Don’t ever wash your hands of this responsibility.

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1 Response to Speakers for the Dead

  1. Bradley S Smith says:

    “…But since it fell into my lot
    That I should rise and you should not
    I’ll gently rise and softly call
    Good night and joy be to you all…

    Fill to me the parting glass
    And drink a health whate’er befalls
    Then gently rise and softly call
    Good night and joy be to you all….”

    Bearing witness is the very least we can do; well said.

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