Our Bodies, Ourselves, written by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective and published in 1970 by the New England Free Press, changed the lives and attitudes of American women. It disseminated crucial information about women’s bodies, sexuality, birth control, menopause, and medical care. We learned to navigate a health care system that often treated women as hysterical beings in need of Valium (some became addicts) and hysterectomies.
I wonder, Do we need a similar handbook for the Covid years, perhaps a small-press book with the title Our Covid, Our Corpses? (Sorry, morbidity is unhelpful.) But is it not surreal to continue to live in a state of emergency after getting a vaccine that is 95% effective? When you get a flu shot, you do not wait until everybody gets the vaccine. You would wait forever. I do not mind wearing a mask and I am the social-distancing queen of the grocery store, but do we vaccinated people need our masks or are we expected to be role models for the unvaccinated (so they don’t rip off their masks and infect everybody – their dream)?
Yes, the world is in a state of emergency, in and out of lockdown. Yes, this is a grave time, but we are are becoming demented. How long can people stand lockdown? Regardless of lockdown, the young will be out protesting this summer. Regardless of lockdown, some of us will have to go out for pizza. I do not care to participate in a protest, but we vaccinated ones should be encouraged to live normal lives–if the thing works!
As for our personal lives during the pandemic: it turns out that the Rooms of Our Own are not nearly as private as Virginia Woolf hoped. Nowadays we are all home together, working, making toast, turning on the radio, asking where the hummus is. You might have liked your family once… before the pandemic!