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One year later…

March 13, 2021
by Becky Ferrigno

Posts across social media are appearing reliving where we were one year ago today. As a writer, I felt a need to share my own two cents.

A year ago this week my mother was driving me crazy worrying about a virus in China. She was right.

A year ago today superintendent was telling me I wouldn’t be teaching ukulele from home. He was wrong.

A year ago today I went home from that meeting praying my immunocompromised husband would be able to work from home until the world calmed down. He did.

But what I remember most of all about a year ago today, is that our daughter was scary sick, the kind of sick where doctors stare at you with foreheads creased with worry and mutter to themselves while they think. Worse of all, we weren’t sure what was causing it. The week before the world shut down, we took her to urgent care and they had sent us home with antibiotics and the directions to follow up with our doctor. The next morning we arrived at our pediatrician’s office with our six-year-old child looking like she had lost a boxing match, and our doctor, the one we have been through hell and back with, sucked air through her teeth and said “They got it wrong. That diagnosis is not what is going on.” My heart sunk.

After what felt like an eternity, she turned to me, and in her honest way said “I know what this is and we need to get it under control. I should send you to the ER but it’s the last place I would want to send a child at the moment. I have to talk to a colleague but I’ll be back.” And she left.

She came back, and we moved forward with her alternative. And it worked. And it probably saved our daughter’s life because during the early days of Covid, people weren’t masking or social distancing and patients were extremely sick.

We were so lucky. But as I reflect on our experience, I realize that only privileged people get to be lucky, and as white, middle-class, suburban, college-educated people, we are brimming with privilege.  It makes getting a house to fit us all comfortably, secure jobs, the skills and support to get our autistic child through the very difficult first weeks of quarantine, the time to teach our son all he needed to know to be “kindergarten ready.” and access to the high-quality health care that much easier.

As the world begins to reopen, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge my privilege and reaffirm my commitment to lifting others up until we all share the same rights and privileges my family benefit from daily and drew on during our scariest days during March 2020.

 

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