Retraumatized: COVID-19, the Specter of HIV/AIDS, and Reorienting Responsibility
Keywords:HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, responsibility
We are assaulted each day with news of more COVID-19 deaths, more infections, new complications. Loved ones die unable to say goodbye, their bodies waiting for burial in refrigerated trucks as the morgues are full. In the United States, our federal government’s indifference—symbolized by our president’s months-long refusal to wear a mask—is amplified through White House news briefings that make clear that the deaths due to COVID-19 are merely the cost of doing business (Walters & Graham, 2020). The missteps of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) diminished our country’s readiness to address this unseen onslaught. Initial characterizations of the coronavirus as only lethal for old people contributed to sluggish reactions among governments and a false sense of security for those not old (Fraser et al., 2020). Religious leaders suggest that those who become infected are less than morally worthy (Merritt, 2020). And the brunt of the disease is falling on those who most often experience the injustice of and marginalization by our society—persons of color, homeless, incarcerated.
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