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covid christmas eve

This photo by Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti @emilio_morenatti, who is based in Barcelona, just ripped straight through me. It encapsulates so many of my feelings about the pandemic, this very difficult year we’ve gone through, and especially about how people have responded to it. Because this is the reality of the coronavirus. This photo shows hope and courage, as well as tragedy and indifference. I know I go on about this but how could anyone risk doing this to someone else? For all of those who have gone away on a Christmas holiday or who just couldn’t stay away from friends and family – just this one fucking time – THIS is what you have put at risk. Not just yourself, and your own loved ones, but also someone you will probably never meet. It’s truly heartbreaking, witnessing so much callous selfishness.

But I am also left in awe of the frontline essential workers who are still at it, in spite of not being shown the respect and consideration they deserve. It’s because of them that I haven’t totally given up on humankind. As you know, I’ve been on my own since March, haven’t left the city (heck I still barely leave my house), I don’t have friends over to visit and I’m extra careful whenever I’m out. So it’s unlikely that I am a carrier. But since I don’t know that for sure, I’m being careful not just for myself (because if I catch this thing that’ll be me in a body bag) but for all of us. Hopefully there will be a return of social conscience in 2021, though I wonder what it’s going to take to make that happen or if it’s even possible. What do you think? And how are you feeling?

Mortuary workers take off their protective clothing at the entrance of a building decorated with a Christmas tree, after removing the body of person who allegedly died of COVID-19 in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 ~ Emilio Morenatti