I might have overdone things a bit yesterday as I woke up feeling sore and stiff, as if I’d spent yesterday in the gym. My philisophy these days is that if my body says “no” then I listen to it, so today has been fairly lightweight.
I did record a couple of great interviews for next week’s radio show. One is with my friend Daryn Carter from Bristol Pride who has had a pretty nasty case of C-19 and is now starting on the long road to recovery.
The other is with Aled from Brigstowe, a charity that provides support for people who are living with HIV. While we were talking it occured to me that there are a lot of similarities between these two virus-borne illnesses. They are not identical, obviously. They attack different parts of the body, and HIV needs to be communicated through bodily fluids while C-19 is ferociously infectious. But with both there will be questions as to when people are phsyically and medically safe to return to work. Post-viral fatigue is likely to be an issue in recovery in both cases. People are already starting to talk about possible new laws that would require us to be able to prove that we were C-19 free before being let back into ordinary society. And inevitably there will be a social stigma against those who have had the disease, because those who haven’t will be afraid (however irrationally) of getting infected.
The upshot of this is that the lessons that the Queer community has learned over the years in supporting people who are living with HIV to integrate back into society may prove to be invaluable in helping rebuild after the pandemic has been contained.
I’m not the first person to think of his. I understand (thanks Roz) that Dr. Fauci, the US virologist, gained his reputation through working on the HIV epidemic. Also my friend Jonathan Cooper has written this article talking about how the victims of the C-19 pandemic will need to band together and speak out against a government that appears to assume that only people who deserved to die will have suffered.
Quite how one holds a government to account when it has an 80 seat majority and has most of the national news media in its pocket is another matter. But hold it to account we must, because if we don’t they will continue their project of selling off the NHS and dismantling all of our social safety nets.