If Germs Were Bullets You’d Stay the Fuck Home

Not all danger is militarized

Heather M. Edwards


All rights © Roberto Cataranicchia

Yes, I being
the terrible puppet of my dreams, shall
lavish this on you —
the dense mine of the orchid, split in two.

And what about the staunch neighbor tabulations,
with all their zest for doom?

— The Visible, The Untrue
Hart Crane, 1933

During the many bombing raids over the munitions plant in Pozzuoli, beloved actress Sophia Loren was just a child when she was wounded and permanently scarred by shrapnel. She survived that and she survived World War II.

When her mother fled with her and her sister to Naples do you think she was concerned about their age-appropriate social and emotional development? Loren couldn’t have been more than 10 years old. Her mother’s job was to keep them alive. Not to worry about their grades, extracurricular activities, or whether or not they were making new friends.

If boredom and inertia are the greatest ills afflicting you during this quarantine, please consider yourself infinitely blessed. And please also consider the possibility that perhaps you haven’t taken enough deep dives into your psyche or the history classes you undoubtedly had in high school and college.

A now-common meme reminds us that while COVID-19 is rendering us homebound, Anne Frank’s family shared some 400 square feet with 8 people for more than two years.

When was the last time you took a shit in front of anyone? Let alone seven other people while you all tried to remain silent lest one noise from any of you might jeopardize all of you.

So many before us have been through so much worse. We can do this.

Yet it is the non-essential workers who seem to complain the most. But all they are foregoing, (I refuse to say ‘sacrificing’) are their creature comforts and their routines.

To be certain, this has had unexpected psychological and emotional impacts on most of us.

But it is no excuse, and definitely not a justifiable reason to defy #StayAtHome orders.