To you, my Friend

On a personal note, I do notice that anytime I write about my experience during the pandemic I lose your interest. You turn away and turn me off.

It’s funny because the original idea for this blog was that it be ‘painfully about me’. I joked about it at the time. Why would I do this, why would I write a public blog about my views, my observations, my emotions in my little life? Why do it?

But I had lost my writing job to lay offs, and ‘writers got to write’, so I went ahead and threw my small tinny voice into the maw of swirling chatter on the internet.

I made connections. I moved a few people. My opinions and experiences connected with people, old friends and absolute strangers.

I wrote about my life experiences with an eye on the universal. I described something you had experienced or dreaded, like my parents’ death or the sexual assault of my child. I wrote about my schizophrenic sister.

And I wrote just for fun, too. The delights of life.

You loved it. Sometimes you ‘liked’ the posts, sometimes you wrote to me. New friends, old friends, we made a connection. There was a sense of shared experience.

And then shit hit the fan. And like so many people, we found ourselves on the wrong side of an unforgiving wall of moral outrage.

How dare I not accept my duty to do my part and accept an unknown injection into my body? How dare I question the motives of the government and the safety of the product?

Last year, those of us who dissented, or simply hesitated, felt the heart breaking pain of punishing excommunication. I still feel that trauma. I won’t ever forget it. That’s what I experienced last year.

I wrote about it because that was what we were living through. I have written about our family’s joys and challenges for years, why would I go silent now?

But now, every post, every word I write, cuts off my chances of being read. Writers that were taking note or offering me other work, suddenly go quiet when they read one of my honest posts about our experience as non-vaccinators.

Did I censor my writing for the sake of ambition? Of course not. I’m almost sixty years old and ambition has not motivated me so far.

I know you like it when I write my more neutral pieces, about love, or about couches. And I enjoy it too.

It gives me a break from examining the destruction of what I thought was a stable society with firm convictions about personal freedom.

But it would be lazy and cowardly to tell you only what you want to hear.

What was it we used to say in the feminist movement? The personal is political. What happened to my family was not a one-off. It was political and can only be solved by political awareness and change.

It would be ludicrous not to write about my experience of this particular stage of our history. It would be absurd to silence my already muted voice further.

Last year was a spectacularly hard year, but not because of the normal and expected challenges of life. It felt like psychological warfare carried out against my small family, by my own government. I was aghast, but not cowed.

In the end, we were right. The experimental shot is no way as safe as other old fashioned vaccines, and its efficacy is a matter of debate.

You might note other surprising elements in the news these days: Ivermectin is no longer being maligned, and it is now commonly acknowledged that the virus originated in the US funded bio lab in Wuhan, after all.

Does it not make you wonder about the fear mongering and divisive cruelty displayed by the politicians and journalists last year?

I know you have suffered and your family has also been divided. It has been an awful for all of us but let’s ‘be clear’ (as our PM likes to say), it was our family that was treated like criminals.

We were excluded from society, from work and from unemployment insurance. We were threatened with fines. There were was talk of banning us from grocery stores and health services.

And you said nothing. I did wonder if anyone would speak up if we were carted off to quarantine camps. I still wonder.

I write this, as I wrote the other pieces, for the sake of honesty.

One thought on “To you, my Friend

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