Another term to add your #woke dictionary: #lockdownprivilege

covid-19

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Twenty-two million Americans, and counting, are unemployed, but bringing up the plight of those on the sidelines earns you the scorn of the #lockdownprivilege set.

Wait a sec: #lockdownprivilege?

Yes, you know these folks from your turns around social media.

When you see somebody bring up that waiting 12 months, 18 months, two years, five years, forever, for a COVID-19 vaccine might not work out well for humanity, that maybe we need to get back in the direction of letting people get back to work, they’re the ones shouting that idea down.

Well, then, bub, why don’t you volunteer to go to your local hospital, without a mask, and go thank the doctors and nurses working on the front lines to fight COVID, and see how that all works out for you.

See, because they assume you’ll catch COVID-19, and then, of course, because the narrative is that everybody who contracts COVID-19 will die, then, ha, joke’s on you.

But, of course, you can throw out these kinds of fighting words when you’re, say, still gainfully employed, and the keyboard warriors who engage in this kind of back-and-forth tend to be more than just that.

I’m talking media elites – the ones with blue checks – people in government jobs, academia.

They’re not at risk of having even an interminable lockdown impact their way of life, which is a nice place to be.

And they’re not going to like the new #woke term that we’re coining for them: this notion of #lockdownprivilege.

It’s based on the concept of #whiteprivilege, which posits that, at the core, hey, white folks, no matter how bad you think you might have had it at any low point in your life, you’ve never had to worry about getting pulled over by police for a busted tail light or jaywalking or just standing in your front yard and having that escalate into being handcuffed, arrested, or much worse.

That is your privilege of being white, and there’s an active story making the rounds today that comes to mind, about a doctor in Miami who was handcuffed in front of his home while loading tents into a van to help homeless Florida residents that applies here.

I don’t have to tell you that the doctor handcuffed in front of his home while loading tents into a van to help the homeless is black, because that was already abundantly clear, because, I mean, police wouldn’t handcuff a white doctor loading tents into a van in front of his home to help the homeless, now, would they?

So, #lockdownprivilege. Just like #whiteprivilege means white folks can do things like load tents into a van in front of their homes without having to fear getting handcuffed, #lockdownprivilege allows people who have jobs and don’t have to worry about them going away no matter how long the lockdown lasts can just go about their business without a care in the world.

Just wait it out, they can say, with the confidence of having a pantry full of the finest in fine wines, meats and cheeses, and that’s about as nice as it gets.

Worries about the economy don’t mean much to people who know that they can pay their mortgage payment, their car payment, that they have plenty to eat, that when this is all over, they can go have a nice night out on the town, get in the car for a weekend away.

It’s to a point that when you see them address “the economy” on social media, it’s a joke to them, because all they know about “the economy” is the stock market, or being able to splurge on new clothes or a kitchen remodel.

Honestly, that’s all their giving up now. They’ve cashed in their stocks, for now, and their concept of roughing it is having to actually cook for themselves, and, boy, oh boy, what a wonderfully quaint experience that has been!

They assume that the press releases from the various government entities that like to tout themselves about how Congress is taking care of the people who are out of work are painting an accurate picture.

The CARES Act is guaranteeing $600 a week, a $1,200 check and unemployment; they’re good, right?

Yeah, except that the $1,200 checks are still in the mail for the vast majority, and millions are being shut out of unemployment and those CARES Act dollars because the states are just flubbing on getting themselves equipped to be able to process everything.

We get plenty of fear porn in the form of horror stories about people who have contracted COVID and passed on, and those are tragedies, as it’s a tragedy with any loss of life, for any reason.

The fear porn hasn’t extended to tell the stories of people who were gainfully employed and getting by a few weeks ago when the rug was pulled out from under them, who have been reduced, without any source of income, to making regular visits to food banks to be able to eat, hoping that those food banks aren’t running low on supplies because of the overwhelming demand.

Even if we were getting more of these stories in the media, those with #lockdownprivilege wouldn’t understand the significance.

If you’ve never been without, it’s hard to process what it means to go without.

Which is why I propose a counter to the sneer from the #lockdownprivilege set about how those who want to see the beginning of an ease to the lockdown should basically go contract COVID-19 themselves to see how that might work for them.

OK, bub, how about you shed your #lockdownprivilege?

You want folks to go to a hospital full of COVID-19 patients without a mask?

Why don’t you cut off your salary at what folks are supposed to get in unemployment and CARES Act money and see how that works out?

See how far that goes to paying your rent or mortgage, your car payment, other expenses, whatever is left then putting food on your table.

You might last a week, because you’re not having to worry about … any of that right now.

The impact, in a week, means a little less in the way of the finest in wines, meats and cheeses.

Do it for a month, then.

Really feel it.

Call the bank or your landlord to see if it’s OK if you can be late with a payment.

Get familiar with loading up on the processed foods that the poors eat.

Look up where the food bank is and get in line.

Even then, it’s not the same, because you know in the back of your mind that you can always call it quits with this experiment whenever it gets too tough.

For folks whose lives have been upended in the past month-plus, this is forever.

Research from past economic downturns tells us the impact of losing a job in a recession is something that affects earnings for up to 15 years.

People who lose their job in the midst of an economic calamity literally lose years off the end of their lives.

The #lockdownprivilege folks won’t feel any of this.

I’m not begrudging them that.

I wouldn’t wish death from COVID or death from lockdown on anybody.

I mean, they are, but that’s not me.

Come on, already.

Unemployment and CARES Act, and give the rest to your local food bank, homeless shelter, suicide hotline.

Shed your privilege, and feel the pain with everybody else.

Story by Chris Graham


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