Dallas, TX

Appreciation Post Pandemic


The category is: Before and After.

Today marks a year since the City of Dallas entered lockdown and everything changed about living in Dallas, Texas, America and the World. In the U.S., a divide that was already so present in our lives, the one that had become more pronounced since 2016, deepened.


I’ve been thinking a lot about what life is going to look like once we’re all back face-to-face with people we know support/ed the former president and believed his outrageous fiction. Like, how do we forgive, forget, move on, and forge relationships?

Back in December, I noticed something during one of my twice-monthly Instagram cleanses, wherein I look at Trump’s or Ivanka’s posts to see who “likes” them. Instagram does this thing where it shows you who among your friends (or who you’re following) likes a post. I saw a farmer with cancer, a local small business owner, a PR professional, a parent at my kids’ school, a co-worker. Another co-worker. 


And as I systematically went through and unfollowed some and gave “passes” to others, I realized I’m basically making decisions, like we all do, about who does and doesn’t deserve to take up space in my life, which for right now, is mainly through the social media I consume.

And since I realize can’t remove people who simply voted for Trump or who consistently choose to double-tap pics of Ivanka’s kids on instagram from my actual life once this is all over, I am going to have to figure out another way to decide who to associate with.

What I keep coming back to is this: left or right, masker versus anti-masker, whether you go out and party versus staying home, whether you're paying attention versus staying out of “politics,” all of these boil down to whether or not you truly care about others. Whether or not you appreciate what you have. Your health. Your money. Your safety. Your family. Your community. And your privilege. And if you don’t appreciate those things, if you don’t understand that it’s not owed to you and that all of that can be lost, we cannot be friends.

If you value the “freedom” to go without masks, despite what the CDC and experts far smarter than you, me, or anyone wasting their time on social media says, then we cannot be friends.

When people say things like “if you’re scared stay home,” or “I’m not going to stop my life for a virus with a 99% survival rate” they flaunt their inability to appreciate how lucky they are to not be among the half a million dead from this virus. To act this way is to slap the grieving in their faces. 

If you are flippant about surviving the virus yourself, we cannot be friends. You are lucky to have survived, just as I am lucky to not have had Covid. This disease takes young, healthy men and women out every day.

If you burn your mask in public like it’s some kind of symbol of oppression, we cannot be friends. I thank G-d every day my family has remained healthy, protected by G-d and science and action and privilege and masks, and when you burn your masks the only thing you’re saying is that you appreciate none of it.

This is where the line is for me. No matter who you voted for, if you believe you’re blessed, lucky, fortunate, grateful to still be alive on the other side of this, if you’re driven to use your life to do something to give back, to do what half a million cannot, this is me, coming to the table beside you.

Once we’re both fully vaccinated, of course.

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