Everything Has Changed: Living in a Post COVID-19 World

Writer and AIDS activist Tez Anderson wrote a powerful essay on Facebook about the fast changing world we live in now with COVID-19 declared a pandemic and compares it to 9/11 and the AIDS pandemic.

Anderson writes:

Yes. Everything has changed. Every little thing is different in a world with a virus with no treatment, with no idea who has it who has passed it on without knowing it, without knowing who will die.

COVID-19 is ten times more lethal than the flu.

I am staying home, social-distancing is the order of the day or the future. I’ve been here before. It feels like life is just passing the time.

I’m already bored out of my mind.

This pandemic did not trigger my AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) yet, though maybe it will. Maybe in the denial stage, I’m thinking this is going to blow over. It is not. It is going to get far worse before it gets better. Everything is different. Just like after 911, everything has changed. Just like April 14, 1986, when a social worker at the clinic on 17th Street [in San Francisco] asked me, “How would you feel if it came back positive?”

Everything changed.

I was HIV-positive. No treatments, just illness, and death.

It was three days after my 26th birthday.

A few days later, my new AIDS doctor said, “You have 18-24 months to live.”

In less than a month I turn 61.

It was not supposed happen. I’m aging with ADS.

I’m old before my time but I’m alive. I have a purpose, friends, a husband I worship, and a dog that’s always happy to see to me.

Goddamn, life is strange.


Follow Anderson on FB. And read Columbia University’s updates on the virus here.

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