What a time to be alive right now, huh? How are you all holding up? Me, I’m honestly trying not to freak out. The shit is real. What gives me hope and keeps me going is seeing the wisdom of disabled, chronically ill, older, and immunocompromised people in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen and been through things.
Today’s episode is about the coronavirus and caregiving with Dawn Gibson and Heather Watkins. Dawn is the founder and host of the Spoonie Chat, an online community on Twitter and Facebook, she’s also a patient advocate, writer, and consultant. Heather is a Boston-based disability rights activist, author, mother, speaker. Dawn and Heather talk about how they are taking care of themselves right now, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their daily lives, and their experiences as caregivers. I believe we are modern-day oracles and it’s time for people to listen to us.
I Still Have Complications from the 2009 Swine Flu, So Understand Why Coronavirus Is Worrying People with ‘Underlying Health Conditions, Dawn Gibson, March 5, 2020, Creaky Joints.
An Unacceptable Sacrifice: Fatphobia, Ableism, and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Finn Gardiner, March 30, 2020, Disability Visibility Project.
Virtual Home Building & Rebuilding: Disabled Communities in the COVID-19 Pandemic, Amy Gaeta, March 26, 2020, Disability Visibility Project.
Ep 48: Care Work with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, April 7, 2019, Disability Visibility podcast.
Ep 58: Twitter chats with Dawn Gibson and Alex Haagaard, August 25, 2019, Disability Visibility podcast.
I’m disabled and need a ventilator to live. Am I expendable during this pandemic? Alice Wong, April 4, 2020, Vox.
Dawn Gibson, best known as @DawnMGibson is a well known patient advocate and e-patient, writer, and patient experience consultant working in an advisory capacity with corporations, foundations, researchers, and other thought leaders to form an accurate and helpful understanding of chronic illness and disability.
She is the founder and host of the Spoonie Chat Twitter and Facebook communities, regularly fields questions posted to Twitter and the #SpoonieChat tag between events, and works to connect patients with essential self-care concepts, appropriate advocacy organizations, and each other.
Heather Watkins is a Boston-based disability rights activist, author, mother, speaker, graduate of Emerson College with a B.S. in Mass Communications. Born with Muscular Dystrophy, loves reading, daydreaming, chocolate, and serves on a handful of disability-related boards. Her blog Slow Walkers See More includes reflections and insight from her life with disability.
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Alice Wong, Writer, Audio Producer, Host
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
Music “Broken,” by Kevin Brown, November 16, 2019