A fascinating thought has started to percolate in my brain. As we enter widespread isolation due to COVID-19, more and more people are starting to understand how it feels to not feel safe at work; having to make the choice whether to risk their own health, or risk disapproval or loss of income from employers. Social media is full of the emotions that accompany this decision. Fear, loss of body autonomy, anger that the system isn’t set up to accommodate these changes, gratitude at the employers who do get it… I have rarely felt so seen by mainstream discourse. What the conversations are lacking, perhaps, is that we have been facing this since the onset of our symptoms! Yet we are all to used to keeping quiet and making sacrifices.
What if we didn’t have to?
What if this pandemic actually opened a door for spoonies? What if employers come to realize that things can actually happen in out-of-the box ways? What if employees all across the world realize the benefits of being able to work on their terms and advocate, when this is all over, to keep some of that flexibility? Maybe this could be a long-needed catalyst for change, not just for the spoonie community, but for various disabilities, caretakers of young children or homebound relatives, introverts, neuro-divergent folks… think of the number of people who could be impacted!
Whether you’re trying to self-isolate during a pandemic or, in safer times, trying to advocate for your body’s needs, it can be nerve-wracking to ask for accommodations. The key to your success is confidence. You have every right to ask for these changes, and you are not alone in this fight.