A little accommodation for me, please.

I have a rant that has been bubbling inside of my mind since the start of the pandemic.

I want to preface this with a little backstory of my own.

When I was a child, I was sickly.

Even as an infant, I would vomit up formula regularly.

The stomach issues did not end as I aged.

I was put on a lactose-free diet and yet, I was regularly asking my mom to pull over so I could get sick.

I would run fevers a lot as well.

My mom was sick too, but of me.

All I wanted was some grace, some accommodation.

I dreaded going to school, because the wretched feeling in my stomach would not go away.

I asked to stay home often, to no avail.

Unless I was puking all night, or had visible signs of infection, I was forced to attend school.

The same happened in college. Even with my weak fortitude, I was able to get scholarships and grant funding.

But my health took another dark turn.

I was throwing up semi-regularly. I was rapidly losing weight. I was taken to the ER twice for urinating blood.

I begged my family to let me leave and stay home for a while. I was told, “I needed to set an example for my brother and cousins. I HAD to be the first one to finish school.”

I turned to my adviser. I cried in her office, asking for more leeway on the extremely strict attendance policy. I needed more unexcused absences. I was desperate to save my grades from being docked as my ability to leave my room got more difficult.

I was drowning.

They told me it was a “policy” for a reason.

All I wanted was some grace, some accommodation.

I asked if I could attend school purely online.

They told me, “If you got to do it, others would want the same thing. We can’t change the rules for one person without doing so for everyone.”

I demanded, “why”?

They never gave me answer that made sense.

I grew up.

I got several jobs.

I was always reviewed exceptionally, and told I was so compassionate with everyone.

Customers, and fellow coworkers alike.

Corporate would praise me for going above and beyond my job title, but when I needed them to support me when my health would have a hiccup… I was always left to make the difficult choices.

I would lose out on the biggest raises and was threatened with termination.

Stunning reviews.

Commended for innovation.

It was never enough.

I would accept more overtime, just to prove my dedication.

One job, in particular, revealed to me how little they valued my personhood.

My reviews demonstrated that I exceeded expectations.

When the pandemic hit, I worked a load of overtime, despite my body screaming at me to stop.

Then a man began to stalk me at work, weeping at me because I refused to marry him, telling me he absolutely had to have me.

He left notes on my car.

I had to park across the street.

I carried multiple box cutters.

We were called “heroes”.

Guests put signs all our windows.

We were “frontline workers”.

I was told, if the man hadn’t touched me physically, the incident was “out of their hands”.

I was essential, until I wasn’t.

I got COVID and was asked to call each morning to report my symptoms.

I was miserable on the inside.

I was exceptional on the outside.

Until I wasn’t.

But I found hope during the pandemic.

I saw companies and schools make changes.

People could finally work from home, they were getting extended leave options, and some financial compensation for risking their lives.


Blessed accommodation.

Would this be the start of something wonderful?

Could chronically ill people be themselves and still keep their job?

Was this the revolution I so desperately dreamed of?

Will everyone get to option to work with their health and safety in mind?

Could I go back to school for a new major and not be terrified of failing every single semester, just because of a flare-up? Would mandatory attendance by a thing of the past?

Everyone was so scared and yet… I was hopeful.

It felt like the world suddenly understood that capitalism could actually be human. Tender.

We could keep the cogs moving and be comfortable again.

I was so damn and stupidly hopeful.

I am always stupidly optimistic.

Now that everyone believes the pandemic is “over”, the whole world is demanding things go back to “normal”.

I don’t want that normal.

Why should I be told how wonderful I am as an employee and then asked if I should go part-time because I was absent three times in a single month??

Why the fuck are we okay with this?

Why aren’t we angry?


I forgot.

No one wants to listen to us, the immunocompromised people.

The world had potential for being a better place for all workers, students, and civilians alike.

Now I put on my mask and wonder why anyone wanted change in the first place?

They got to taste what it feels like to be in my shoes and plead for something different.

Their safety and comfort are now assured, so their voices went quiet.

I silently scream behind my mask.

I silently scream at the pharmacy.

I silently scream, because I spent all my life being outspoken about accommodation.

Now my voice is horse.

My voice is lost in a sea of a new era.

The era of “sameness” and “pretend”.

Change is lost somewhere.

I have no energy to climb aboard another ship and sail to find it.

I silently scream behind my mask.

I silently scream at the grocery store.

I silently scream, because if I were truly yelling, no one would be willing to listen.

The time for listening was back in 2020 and now it’s 2022.

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