Hugh, Rebecca and Ann. Chicago, USA
Hugh broke his leg in a motorcycle accident March 1st, and was operated on for it. A week after that, the university at which he teaches closed its physical doors and moved all instruction online. He’s retiring at the end of this semester; so, unbeknownst to him at the time, he had taught his last live, face-to-face university classes of his career on February 28th. Ann, who is head of accounts for a healthcare company, can do most of her work from home. Rebecca, a special needs person, had her day work program shuttered, but her social program has turned to online Zoom meetings so she and her friends can stay connected.
“We’re scared to death of catching Covid-19. Each of us has health issues that might make us one of the 20% who sicken so badly we must be taken to hospital. Nevertheless, we’ve know we’ve been very fortunate, but also very privileged. Privileged to have good employer-paid health insurance. Privileged to have work that can continue to be done remotely, which means we can keep getting paid. Privileged to be members of a socio-economic class that is well backstopped against the worst. When we get through this, no matter how long it takes, that privilege must end. “Privilege” means, etymologically, “private law”: one law for the well-off, another for the rest. That must end. There can only be one law for all, and no one above it. We’ll work for that”.