From Tactile to Tactical
“Corona consciousness” (alternately, “COVID consciousness”) has permeated psychic and pragmatic domains globally, presenting new opportunities for, and challenges to, prospects of radical inclusivity and disability justice. On the one hand, “COVID consciousness” reflects ethics of “universal” care, comprehending the direct and indirect risks of individual and societal choices on those most vulnerable (specifically to COVID-19). On the other, it fails to fundamentally undermine dangerous and divisive discourses and biases pervading healthcare, community, and family settings. My discussion of this concept’s ethos began prior to the novel coronavirus’s emergence; yet I credit COVID-19 with bringing a particular constellation of relevant issues and possibilities to the forefront of the public imagination, ushering in a zeitgeist potentiating unprecedented (inter-)personal and collective responsibility. In this piece, I bring together diverse sources to explore sometimes-paradoxical approaches to, and motivations underlying, "flatten the curve" pandemic responses. This piece problematises appeals to the so-called “greater good” premised on ableist—and arguably eugenic—attitudes and practices that devalue the lives of, and in some cases literally sacrifice, people with disabilities (e.g., through rationing life-preserving resources and equipment).