Denial

The Writer, Vernon Wade

Vernon Wade is a poet, author and freelancer. He has been published in The Gorge Literary Journal, Dualsport Rider Magazine, Hack’d Magazine, The Sidecarist, ROB Magazine and The Hood River News.

The world fills him with wonder.  When he looks at the sky he is lifted into flights of fancy, when he stares at the earth he is drawn beneath its surface. He is delighted to find the macrocosm and the microcosm equally mesmerizing.

I like my job. It is work that needs doing and I enjoy doing it.

I have worked through several public health crises; I was a lab tech and phlebotomist through more than one hepatitis outbreak. I was working when AIDS first began to blossom, before we really knew anything about it, before gloves, before universal precautions. I worked through SARS and the Ebola scare.

But this one is different. Sure, the constant reminders of mortality are fatiguing. The social isolation is depressing. But what really gets me is the lack of cohesiveness, the lack of public will to get through this. The only thing which has changed since last March is more people around us are sick, yet people are demanding to open the bars, refusing to wear masks, insisting the kids go back to school.

No matter how hard we try to be careful, to slow the spread of the virus, to stay well, to keep others well, there are mobs of people willfully flaunting the precautions, denying the necessity of care, obstructing the efforts to contain the virus.

It takes a toll. The pandemic is worse now than it needs to be and it will last longer because of these Covid deniers. I feel fatalism setting in. I feel my empathy slipping. I find myself wishing these people would just crawl under a porch and die, like a sick cat.

On my way to work I saw an osprey, clutching a fish, flying in the morning sun. I have my mask on. The first patient needing an x-ray will arrive any minute now. Stay safe.

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