|Baby Iz versus Pandemic Iz
[image: Two photos: Left: Iz as a baby wearing overall made from marbled
green fabric; right: Iz right now wearing a face mask of the very same fabric.]
If wearing a mask is hard for you, if it fucking sucks and you hate it but you're doing it anyway because you understand the evidence and importance, you're not a bad person and you're not making it up or imagining it. I get it.— Emily Paige Ballou (@epballou) July 14, 2020
I am also upset about jerks using fake ADA cards to get out of wearing masks: It's such a callow, ableist dodge, as well as total bullshit, and here's why: The U.S. Department of Justice says, "The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations." This means that while the ADA does say disabled people need to be “reasonably accommodated” when working with employers, public businesses and the government, it does NOT allow mask exemptions "without replacing it with another measure in line with public health requirements.” No one gets to go maskless if doing so endangers themselves or others.
- At least six feet between us and anyone else
- Being outdoors, away from enclosed spaces with shared or recirculated air
- Ideally, a good breeze
|[image: Leo and his dad, seen from behind, walking down a trail to a cove.]
I am also terrified at the thought of my son and people who share his disabilities being hospitalized under pandemic conditions. Leo struggles with hospital environments, even in ideal times. He needs full time, 1:1 support, and while our state of California allows people with I/DD to have support people stay in the hospital with them, this isn't yet universal. And even if one of us were to stay with him, pandemic safeguards and protocols would make that experience exponentially more stressful and fraught than usual.