Pandemic Insights & Realizations

Jesse Johnson March 16, 2021
This piece was written by Jesse Johnson, member of Tipping Point Community’s Community Advisory Board.

“In my mind the Covid pandemic and my struggle against Cancer are inextricably intertwined. March of 2020, I began a regiment of daily blasts of radiation supplemented by weekly chemo treatments the very same week the Shelter-at-home orders were issued.

They blended seamlessly. Both required I stay at home. Covid in order to avoid infection. Cancer because the treatments left me exhausted, not mention even more vulnerable to Covid.

As word that I was sick spread. People would call and say that they had heard that I had been infected with the Covid virus. I had not. Some seemed disappointed when they found out I “just” had cancer.

It seemed that my body and the world were reflections of each other. As my social life glided to a full stop and everything but by doctor’s visits fell from my calendar the City streets grew increasingly empty with fewer and fewer cars and pedestrians. Intersections that once swarmed with people suddenly look like the empty streets of a City in some Sci-fi disaster movie.

The SF Weekly which I read regularly lost pages each week. Then fewer copies were being printed and distributed sites were abruptly dropped. All this happen as I began to loss weight. I imaged myself grow thinner and thinner like this newspaper until I too would finally just disappear.

By summers end, I was told that the cancer had been eliminated. My body was healing. Still, my recovery from “the cure”, like the pandemic would persist for at least another year and probably more. I get tired just thinking about it.

“There is no substitute for real life, real time, human interaction.”
– Jesse Johnson

Pandemic insights and realizations:

  • I have more dead “good friends” then I do live ones.
  • There is no substitute for real life, real time, human interaction.
  • I missed the warmth of another human body.
  • Capitalism is vulnerable.
  • Many rules we think of as iron-clad might really be nothing more than a collective delusion.
  • Reading still helps.
  • The system will not collapse if rent or mortgages are not paid by a certain time of the month.
  • We don’t have to work in a centralized office setting. Maybe we don’t have to work at all.
  • Even porn can get boring.
  • We need better porn.
  • Borders are bullshit.
  • Stories of children dying alone in Concentration camps on the border will haunt me forever.
  • Guess what? Racism is a co-factor in Covid infection.
  • Racism is a demoralizingly pervasive element of American culture.
  • There are those that believe the elderly are expendable. I am now an elder.
  • Pandemic fatigue is a real thing and we shouldn’t try to shame people about it.
  • Republicans leaders who refuse to wear masks are idiots. Their total disregard for the health of their fellow citizens is appalling.
  • Democratic leaders who mandate mask wearing and then get caught out of compliance with their own rules are perceived as being arrogant and contemptuous of their fellow citizens.
  • Generally speaking, Americans are much more likely to vote for an idiot than they are a hypocrite.
  • I think pandemic isolation is finally going to drive me to buy a dog.”