Crista Facciolla

Essential? Try Sacrificial

Those who fall under the mandate of "essential workers"—those the militant rhetoric of the "war on coronavirus" would describe as "troops"—are forced to confront a reality in which the work they perform is essential, but their lives are not. In order to be nursed and doctored back to life, we are asking nurses and doctors to die. All "essential workers" become healthcare workers the moment that they demand a mask, hand sanitizer, sick time, or hazard pay by nature of wanting to save lives. The rhetoric of heroism implies that those forced needlessly to labor unprotected amidst threat to their lives must be grateful for a chance at martyrdom. They deserve better than empty cheers, photo filters, and words of war. They deserve protection and payment. Now.
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