Underneath my yellow skin

The plexiglass of life

I’ve talked extensively about the many allergies I have. There was a question on Ask A Manager about giving end-of-the-year gifts to the 200 employees. The letter writer asked how to go about it and listed all the different ways they’ve had trouble with the assignment. Including people complaining about having to pay taxes on the gift cards, people not answering questions about sizes, etc.

Many helpful comments, including money. That was the biggest. And time off. But there were also suggestions of frozen cozies, different kinds of snack boxes, clothing, etc. I did not skim all the answers, but from what I saw, there were not suggestions of candles, alcoholic beverages, or flowers. Thankfully.

It seems like every time this subject is covered, people suggest alcohol, greenery, and food. Or clothing. As I commented on the post, I am gluten-free, dairy-free, and alcohol-free. I am also allergic to every flower/plant/tree under the sun. And the sun. And the air. I’m also allergic to all scents, many fabrics, and most metals. This sharply cuts down on what can be given to me. What can’t?

::deep breath::

No food, no clothing, no jewelry, no flowers, and no candles. No bath products, including soap, bath bombs, and oils. No alcohol, naturally. I am also difficult to buy any kind of media for because my tastes are so picky. That’s not an allergy situation, though.

I went to Target twice while Ian was here and got sick. I’m not saying it’s Target, but it’s Target. That also happened when I got non-COVID-related walking pneumonia. I had gone to Target the week earlier for the first time since the pandemic hit. Am I saying that’s where I got walking pneumonia? No. It might have been Cubs as that’s the one place I’ve consistently gone. I can’t help noticing, however, that I have gotten sick two of the three times I’ve gone to Target in the last three years.

There are many reasons to rue the pandemic. It wreaked havoc on the world, and many people have not recovered from it. But. Personally, it helped in one massive way–I did not get any of the bronchial stuff I got three or four times a year in the years prior. I was happy that I did not have to feel like shit for weeks at a time. Now, I’ve been feeling punk for over a week. Sinus hurts, threatening migraine, and fatigue, oh my! It’s not fun, and I hate that I have to worry about that again.

I’m glad that people are able to go out again. However, I’m fully aware that I’m one of two or three people masking whenever I go to Cubs. No one gives me nasty looks, but it’s just very othering. And, more to the point, it’s not good for my health. Me wearing a mask doesn’t do that much for me. Other people watching their masks, that would be good for me.

I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to get sick. I am mad that people don’t give a shit about people with shitty immune systems (not to mention immunocompromised people) and older people. It really is that they’ve decided it’s acceptable for a certain population to die. I may not be a full-fledged member of that group, but I’m sitting right there on the edge.

When Ian was here, I was comfortable with him being not masked because he’s quad-vaxxed and had had Corona in the last…four months? I think? Definitely within five. Plus, he has the constitution of a horse. He rarely gets sick.

I know that I have to watch out for myself. I can’t count on anyone else to do it for me. It’s just chilling how quickly and easily people moved into, fuck the sick! I gotta be freeeeee. Again, I can understand being tired of the pandemic. I am, too! But it drives me nuts that if we had buckled down during the first six months of the pandemic, we would be in a much different place now. And, yeah, it’s hard not to get bitter over that. Certain people talk about how hard they are and how they would fight for their country, their freedom, blah, blah, blah. They couldn’t even wear a mask on a fucking regular basis without whining like little babies, for fuck’s sake. I know it’s not the same thing, but it feels similar to me. They say all this bullshit about the lengths they’ll go to in order to protect their families and friends and their freedom, but they cannot wear a goddamn mask.

I will say I do not like wearing a mask. It’s restrictive and makes it hard to breathe. There are people who legit cannot breathe in them, but then there are just people who would prefer not to. It strikes me how it’s such a little thing for most people. A mask on your face while you run to the store. Anyone can do that. Granted, it’s more if you have to wear it all day long, and I feel for people who have to do that. But for going to the store? Nah, son. You just slap that mask on and go to store. It literally is the least you can do.

Yes, I knew before the pandemic that Americans were selfish bunch in general. Not individual people and not towards people you love, but the sense of civic duty is severely lacking. In this country, the skewing towards individualism has reached the point of ridiculousness. And I’m saying this as someone who is very much an individual. My other culture (Taiwanese) purportedly believes in society and family, but when they had a COVID break of their own four months ago, well, they did not respond well. They had to stay in because there was a government-mandated hard lockdown, but the second it lifted, people said, “Fuck that!” Now, the cases are back on the rise again. I guess that proves that it’s not just in America where we are selfish trash pandas. They went from a peak of nearly 83,000 case a day (on an island with 23 1/2 million people) down to almost 16,000 cases a day back up to 34,000 cases a day where it currently sits.

My brother and I had told our parents we would go to Taiwan for Christmas this year when they were fussing about not being able to come here this summer because my father clearly can’t travel any longer ( he’s too old and frail). It was just a way to pacify them, but there is no way in hell I’m going now. I was already worried about flying domestically and there is no way I’m doing it internationally. We have roughly 1,000 cases a day in Minnesota. How ironic that when my parents rushed here ,the situation was reversed with cases here being tenfold the cases there.

I am not going. I wasn’t really planning on going, anyway. I don’t feel safe; I just don’t. This is my new reality.



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