Echos of Another Plague


2 Comments for “Echos of Another Plague”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The Washington Post article is on point.

    I’ve had numerous discussions with men my age (mid-70’s) recently about how the COVID-19 epidemic brings back memories of the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the period when so many were dying, because no effective treatments were available.

    I am not surprised that the current epidemic is causing angst among many older gay men. It was a terrible time, and many of us are, in a sense, reliving that time in some respects.

    I know that I’ve found myself revisiting that period when my mind is idle, remembering the fear and uncertainty, reliving how hard it was to watch young friends get sick and die, bringing so many ghosts back into the present, hearing echos of that time in the concerns of today.

    I’m glad you posted the article, Stephen. Don’t screw it up now with a half-dozen “progressives are terrible people” irrelevant add-ons. The men who died 1985-1995, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its peak, deserve better than to be used, once again, for political fodder.

  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The comparison to HIV is pretty weak as well as irresponsible, in my view. HIV was always fatal for more than a decade, 95%+ survive COVID-19. It took years to identify the HIV virus. Comparing the 2 contributes to panic and fear.

    A quiet note: The Washington Post article centers around the emotional reactions of older gays, the ways in which their present experience of COVID-19 pandemic evokes their earlier experience with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the way in which lessons learned during the HIV/AIDS epidemic are of use to older gays and lesbians in the current pandemic.

    It is not surprising that the current pandemic echoes the earlier epidemic for older gays because while both HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 targeted relatively small, marginal groups within the population — HIV/AIDS targeted gay men and COVID-19 the elderly with underlying conditions — older gay men were in the targeted group in both cases. In both cases, the larger population was not at particular risk, but the risk was high among the targeted groups.

    I don’t know who UpperEastSideGuy is or why he seems so determined to misread the Washington Post article and make it into something it isn’t, but I think that he misses the point.

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