It's hard for me to fault people like this, people who try to go about their jobs and daily lives, unfazed by the reality of a deadly virus. It's hard for me to fault them because, once upon a time, I did the same thing.
I hope everyone remembers what it was like, how it felt to live in this strange alternative universe of fear and social distancing. I hope everyone remembers it because some people will have to keep living it.
My first job was working the front desk at a gym for minimum wage. I had to scan member ID cards, re-rack weights, and clean the entire gym — wiping up people’s saliva from the sinks and their sweat off the treadmills, sanitizing the toilets and showers, and picking up the garbage they left behind. [...]
Each fall, for the last few years, I've lived on edge, hoping a major wildfire doesn't strike where I live and force me to choose between the lesser of two evils--stay and risk dying in my home or evacuate and risk making myself sicker and getting injured.
I regret that it took a life-changing illness, and losing some of my privilege, for me to truly empathize with the struggles of less fortunate people. I wish I had come to this realization sooner, when I had more health and energy to help other people.