Hannah Soyer, who has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy that affects her lungs, writes about trying to negotiate friendships and other relationships with people for whom COVID has been largely a nuisance:
“Before COVID, I’d never faced such blatant disregard for disabled and chronically ill life. I watched friends and family members — people who said they loved and cared about me — take part in activities clearly linked to spreading the virus, like eating in crowded restaurants and attending large parties. These choices felt like betrayals, and each new one stung.
I believe I have a right to exist safely in public spaces. Do others have an obligation to make that happen? What do we owe each other, as humans, as friends? Do we owe each other a chance at living, and how much should we change our lives to do that? Alternatively, do we owe each other forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt, and if so, to what extent?”