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.
I'm not proud to say that it took getting sick and losing some of my privilege for me to grasp how fortunate I was as a healthy person. But it is one of the few good things that has come from my poor health.