by Christopher Paslay
COVID-19 America has realigned itself into a two-part caste system, one made up of the essential hero, and the other comprised of the selfish, nonessential coward. Essential heroes, like those who work in grocery stores, hospitals, Walmarts, and deliver for Amazon, are deserving of our admiration and praise. They risk their lives every day so we can have food, medical care, Egyptian bath towels, and cute panda knickknacks. And by “risk their lives,” I mean that if they are under the age of 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition, they may get a dry cough, runny nose, body aches, and be in bed for a week or so.
My wife is one of these essential workers. She’s a clinician at a small hospital in Philadelphia, where dozens of people have tested positive for COVID-19. In the middle of April she too tested positive, and subsequently gave the virus to me. Luckily, our symptoms were minor (she had a dry cough for a day, and I had lethargy and body aches for about a week), and we quickly recovered.