In less exceptional times, when people practiced social welcoming, there was always the outlier: the schizophrenic. You know, that lurking, dark presence that seemed so out of place with his restlessness and psychotic staring. You never knew if he was ready to jump you or jump in front of a moving truck. You just wanted to get the hell away.
That’s the ultimate social distancing. Not this wussy I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself-because-I-have-to-be-quaranteened-fourteen-days gig. Try fourteen years. Or in my case, try going on thirty.
There is nothing like social distancing to trigger the resentment of a person with schizophrenia. While you stand on your balconies to bang pots and catcall first responders, we stay inside—mindful that your attempts at socializing probably doesn’t apply to us, anyways.
We know you don’t want us around. We know you don’t want us to even pop out onto the balcony to stick out like a sore thumb in your solidarity within social distancing. You wish us away. Even our lit and curtained balcony window stands out to you as an anathema, a rebuke within its expected and sanctioned place in the pecking order. You wish us dead or institutionalized.
That is the problem with the dearth of eugenic planning. You don’t prevent this while in the womb or egg or sperm; you get a lifetime of trouble, instead. It should be universal knowledge now that schizophrenia has no evolutionary purpose, no religious blessing, no ontological meaning. It is simply a bad, genetic/epidemiological defect. It should be dealt with in the womb, or tested in the genome of each person, so as not to proliferate through procreation. Once your child has it, s/he has it. Then to add insult to injury, literally, they are reviled, bullied, beaten, misunderstood, stigmatized, and condemned to a lifetime of isolation on top of the ravages of the illness. It is, simply speaking, vile, social neglect.
So if you think 14 or 28 days is a loooooong time, just pray and hope in your agnosticism that you kids or grandkids won’t get a thirty year sentence of schizophrenia. Or even you, yourself or your S.O. It would be such a pity.
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