Dispatches from a Pandemic: On Being Socially Distant Even Before This All

Content Notice: (internalized) ableism and anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry, suicide/self-harm, cure/shiny Aspie autism politics, drug use, smoking, drinking, COVID-19, sex/relationships, (reclaimed and unreclaimed) slurs.

I wrote a thing. I haven’t written here in almost a year but I needed to write this, right now. There’s a lot of discourse from disabled people who were homebound/socially isolated before COVID-19 stay-at-home orders around abled people complaining about being stuck at home. I have thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts about this. Being at home, with my family, is not good in a lot of ways for me. I’m safe and secure, don’t worry, but I miss a lot of the things I had. But a lot of the things other people had and complain about missing are things I never had.

I hope you like it.

EDIT at 2119 hours on 11 April 2020: About an hour after posting this, I learned that Mel Baggs, whose work I cited in this post, died today. I am heartbroken. Mel was an unyielding, blunt, incredibly advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Hir video In My Language was the first piece of by-and-for autistic people media I ever consumed. I owe so much to Mel’s advocacy. We all do. Rest in power, Mel. We will carry your work forward.

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Save/Safe Student Newsrooms

April 25th is Save Student Newsrooms day. In the words of the movement’s own website, Save Student newsrooms is “[a] campaign to educate people about the challenges facing student-run newsrooms,” especially challenges around funding and editorial independence.

The first time I heard about Save Student Newsrooms, it was in a spoken announcement from one of the managing editors of the paper I work at, urging all of us to write an editorial about it. I did not hear the announcement correctly. I heard that it was a movement around “safe student newsrooms” and, in my infinite wisdom and auditory processing issues, almost wrote an editorial about it. I didn’t end up writing the editorial because I learned that it was “Save Student Newsrooms,” but I kept thinking about the issue.

It’s the end of April again. This is that editorial.


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