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  • Hannah Hinsch

Privilege During a Pandemic

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

My morning routine for the past week or so has looked something like this:


Wake up sometime between 9-11 AM.


Feed my cat.


Make a breakfast of eggs and sausage, and maybe some avocado (with a dusting of garlic salt). Pair it with some green tea with sweet cream. Matcha-ish.


Watch YouTube while I'm eating. Maybe a house tour or a family vlog.


Take a shower (piping hot).


Bible study/daily devotional.


And then all of the rest of the day is full of reading books by my window, letting the sun soak into my jeans. Maybe I'll take a walk if the weather is nice and snap a picture like the one that marks this post. I live in a snug col-de-sac, and many of my neighbors have daffodils springing up in front of their homes. The flowers are limned in sunlight, and they raise their airy heads to an impossibly blue sky. Someone walks past me, their golden retriever leashed, and we smile at one another as walk by, breezily.


Maybe I'll spread lavender body scrub over my arms to change things up in my shower; oh, I know, I'll do a 10 minute yoga tutorial, then sit with a book spread on my lap--those endless books, piled up to my ceiling, spilling from my shelves.


Given, I'm on break. Classes start in about a week and a half. I have things to prepare and assignments to do. But I'm coasting. Riding that blessed wave-crest while others are absolutely overwhelmed.


Everything is gaggingly sweet, dusted over, absolutely soaking with my privilege. I feel like I'm spooning honey into my mouth and leaving the bitter herbs to the others. There are no bills piling up, because I live at home with my parents and have for the past four years of college. I go to the grocery store (limited to once a week, oh no) and buy a bottle of wine, instead of scavenging for food stamps or that one crumpled coupon. The National Guard doesn't need to package food for me. I don't have bruises around my eye sockets and on my forehead from the masks I'm wearing while I'm desperately trying to save people's lives. I'm not grieving over a loved one, or stuck outside of a nursing home singing to people on balconies, or sitting in a cold blue hospital room with machines breathing for me, cramming that air into my tight lungs.


No, instead, I'm here, bathed in sunlight like a fat lizard on the rocks. I've started a blog for fun. I write poetry in the afternoons and take long, hot baths drizzled with lavender oil, my wrist bent like the stem of a lily to pick up my glass. My cat sleeps at my feet. I feel like him: relying on others to worry for me, while I skim the news and distract myself with my self-indulgence, my sun-bathing, my food and drink.


I agree, we need art right now. We need beauty and everything that's so necessary about literature and words. But people need so much more. Simple things that they had only weeks ago. There have been other wars than this war in our bodies; wars that have been going on for centuries. And here I sit, milky white, stuffed full of dusty words and brie and my trite worries.


Why did I write this post? What will it do? I don't know. All that I know is that my privilege needs to be put to better use. But how can it, with me "stuck" at home? I'm so very tempted to ride this out as I have been.


But what's the use of that?


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