19th July, #FreedumbDay is trending and England has dropped all restrictions. The pandemic is over here as our Government said so. Or rather that is the subtle message that is carried on its waves. They have also told people to take personal responsibility and use caution but since it took charging 10p a bag to get us to stop using so much plastic, I am not my characteristically hopeful self that this is piece of the puzzle we have been missing.
What they are not saying, or not saying loud enough, is the consequences of our freedom will be brutal. The true price will be even more death of loved ones, someone’s loved ones. This will be a price we can start calculating from day one as it will be evident; numbers will be tallied on clinical websites, names will be displayed on commemorative walls. The additional price which we may not be able to count for years to come is those that will develop Long Covid and be given the potential life sentence of an M.E diagnosis. People who will lose jobs, friends, hope, drop out of society, become another statistic and add to the Millions Missing.
What chilled my blood when I read it was the post from the ex-special adviser to No10, Dominic Cummings, which showed a question scribbled with frantic fingers on a whiteboard:
“Who do we not save?”
I just knew that meant people like me, people with M.E and other chronic conditions, the elderly, the poor, the economically unviable. It would also mean those that become economically unviable too, those that would contract the virus and either lose their lives or their livelihoods. Those that may be blissfully unaware that this fate lay ahead for them.
I never thought I would live in a country that would be so cavalier with our lives though, where the elected government would calmly provide us as the answer, as the sacrifice they were most willing to make. A government that has traded on words not deeds, where rhetoric rather than action has handed them a majority and intergity and honesty are no longer values of choice.
I am truly terrified of what the next few months will hold for us, the deaths and catastrophe that could have been avoided. What we can do about it I don’t know. We can only raise our voices and protest as loudly as we can. For some of us that means raising our digital voices and speaking out online. For some we can but offer ourselves as witnesses to time.
This poem, in the form of an acrostic, is my witness. It’s the headline that won’t be written but the words, the utter and absolute tragedy is that these words, are likely to be the real outcome from this day.
If you or someone you know are dealing with M.E. or any undiagnosed symptoms of lack of energy, pain, brain fog etc and need some guidance please do reach out below or on Twitter @KirstieWrites. It can be alarming when this happens especially if you cannot express what is going on inside you. Please know that whilst it can feel isolating you are not alone. There are thousands of us, millions worldwide that understand what you are going through. And people like me can help. There are also charities and organisations that provide help and support too: