When the sick rule the post-covid world

Taking place over zoom as part of Rupert’s public program this reading session explored, positively, how to learn from experiences of chronic illness for the times of Covid-19. Chronic illness is more present as a result of the pandemic – both in terms of individuals who experience a long-haul version, and on a societal level, where, without a cure, we are left collectively managing illness which seems to flare. C-19 has made it ever more obvious the saying – there are two types of people in the world: those who are ill or disabled, and those who are not yet. Engaged through three texts, The End of Normal, 2013, by dis/ability scholar Lennard J Davis; When the Sick Rule the World, 2015, non-fiction prose by Dodie Bellamy; and a recent article on Covid-longhaul by journalist Ed Yong, the reading session is framed in appreciation that people who were sick long before C-19, know best how to live differently again when normal is taken away. It also sought to engage an open, generative discussion, as a way to think with ill and dis/abled perspectives that know this condition best. If the sick were to rule, as Bellamy requests, then perhaps, as an agenda grander then the reading session, we’d arrive to non-normal, non-ableist, positively diverse ways to live together again without returning to the problematic normal that once was.

Session Texts:
2013. Lennard J. Davis. The End of Normal, Identity in a Biocultural Era, The University of Michigan Press, US – Chapter 1, p.1-14

2015. Dodie Bellamy. When the Sick Rule the World, Semiotext(e), US – Chapter 2, p.25-3

2020, Ed Yong. Covid-19 Can Last for Several Months, The Atlantic, online: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/covid-19-coronavirus-longterm-symptoms-months/612679

Further background reading:
2020, Sam Pearce. #LonghaulersUnite, Africa Clockwise (blog), 22 July 2020. https://africaclockwise.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/longhaulersunite

2020, covid-longhaul patient led research, What Does COVID-19 Recovery Actually Look Like? online: https://patientresearchcovid19.com/research/

2016, Johanna Hedva. Sick Woman Theory, Mask Magazine (blog) http://www.maskmagazine.com/not-again/struggle/sick-woman-theory

2013, Christine Miserandino. The Spoon Theory, outline.com: https://outline.com/F5xh5V

2006, Joseph Dumit. Illnesses You Have to Fight to Get: Facts as Forces in Uncertain, Emergent Illnesses. Social Science & Medicine, Patient Organisation Movements, 62, no. 3: 577–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.06.018.