I’m starting up a project here at Policy of Truth that I call “The COVID-19 Narrative Project.” I suppose it involves a bit of wishful thinking: it’s a long-term project for when COVID-19 is brought fully under control. But I’d like to start now.
Reflecting on my brother and sister-in-law’s experiences as front-line physicians in the COVID-19 crisis, I thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to collect writing from health care workers describing what it was like, from their perspective, to fight COVID-19. I mean “health care workers” in the broadest possible sense: EMTs, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, mental health counselors/psychologists/social workers, hospital orderlies, janitors, office workers, billing/collecting workers, medical academics, etc. etc.*
The preceding list is not meant to be exclusive. If I didn’t list your profession, but you think that your work made a significant positive contribution to the struggle against COVID-19, feel free to submit. And though my emphasis is on the supply rather than demand side of the equation–on health care workers rather than patients–I would like to run some submissions from patients. (Unfortunately, some health workers will likely become patients.)
I’d like to collect these and post them on the blog (also, perhaps, list the links on this page below). Obviously, it will be awhile before front-line health care workers have the time, energy, or inclination to write about their experiences, but I don’t mind waiting until then.
I aim to be as inclusive as possible, but I reserve the right to reject submissions. Racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist/nationalist, etc. submissions will get peremptory “desk rejections,” as will unreasoned ideological rants, and unfounded conspiracy theories of any kind. I’ll explain the reasons why I reject a submission, but I won’t necessarily engage in lengthy disputes about it. On the whole, what I’m looking for are narratives about what it was like to make a contribution to this battle. Think of each contribution as a distinctive contribution to the narrative equivalent of a potluck dinner. I look forward to the day when narrative food porn of this sort becomes a luxury we can afford.
Send submissions and queries to email@example.com. In submitting to the site, you’re simply agreeing to have (a lightly edited) version of your essay posted on the site. I don’t claim copyright or any other intellectual property right in any submission, so you’re otherwise free to do with your submission as you please.
*I forgot lab techs! And research scientists! And blood bankers. And baby sitters. And a lot of other people….
**And yes, where appropriate, I will accept anonymous submissions.
Last revised: March 27, 2020