Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your Own Comfort to Sit With the Pain of Another’s Suffering?

by | Essays

There’s something that is not being said during this pandemic.

As lockdown restrictions loosen and gatherings become more frequent, there is a population for whom nothing has changed.

The risk for complications for disabled/chronically ill individuals as well as seniors and their primary caregivers remains the same. As everyone strives to return to a semblance of the lives they once had, many are experiencing more loneliness and despair than at the beginning of this crisis.⁣

These are communities that are already overlooked and forgotten under typical circumstances.

Now, with services reduced, strict isolation measures in place, and the same access challenges that were always present, many carry the weight of extra tasks and complex methods of care for themselves or a loved one while the world moves on without them. The same high-risk conditions remain with this virus with the added layer of managing daily tasks through a lens of loneliness and disregard.⁣

I want to remind those who are desperately trying to get back to their regular lives that as frustrating as it is for you to be cautious and to wear a mask and safely distance at social gatherings, it is doubly as painful for us to watch it happen without us.

The emotional torment of being left out and being left behind is unbearable some days.⁣

While we are aware that everyone has been impacted, and that with the coming of the summer weather, being out and interacting with others is good for the morale—we are heartbroken when we are not considered. ⁣

We would love for some sensitivity at this time as we are stuck waiting for a vaccine before we can let our guard down. We would love for others to stand in solidarity with us: “If you hurt, we hurt. If you can’t be there, I won’t go. If you can’t join in, we will find a way to include you.”⁣

Brushing aside and keeping hidden those who burden and bring you discomfort is what we did well before this pandemic, and it’s why so many systems crumbled and so many lives were lost.⁣

Let’s not forget our frontline medical workers who haven’t seen their children and family members in months— making the sacrifice of a lifetime. Let’s acknowledge caregivers who have gone above and beyond to find safe ways to minimize their exposure to keep their clients safe. We wish it would include you, too, family and friends, who gather in larger groups forgetting that we are still here facing our vulnerability and mortality in complete isolation.⁣

This isn’t a typical season.

The crisis is global, and it’s still very real for every one of us, no matter how much we believe we’re untouchable. This pandemic won’t last forever. Your sacrifices won’t be forever. But, we will forever remember who was there with us, in the trenches, giving up their conveniences and suffering along with us.⁣


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