I Was Called A 'Karen' For Following COVID-19 CDC Guidelines

Faceboook Mom Groups Like To Pretend That COVID-19 Isn’t A Thing

January 28, 2021 Updated January 29, 2021

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In between writing, helping my son with his remote learning, and sorting laundry, I scrolled through Facebook. A question about date nights popped up. How often did the members of the mommy group go out on a date with their partner? I quickly typed, “Never right now, because of the pandemic.”

The original poster was quick to clapback at anyone who said a peep about the coronavirus. To me, she replied, “LOL! Calm down, Karen.” Then, “You’re telling me that your parents, your friends, and your family haven’t seen your children since COVID?” First, I don’t think this lady understands the use of Karen, and second, yes, we choose to follow the CDC guidelines.

Here, most restaurants don’t offer indoor dining, and if they do, we wouldn’t go anyway. The idea of having my mask-less face around a bunch of strangers while we collectively eat in an enclosed space is unappealing. In fact, it sounds like the perfect recipe for a panic attack. How am I supposed to relax and enjoy my spouse when I’m surrounded by a bunch of chomping people I don’t know sitting not-far-enough away from me?

Plus, how can we get a babysitter for our four kids? No one is going to quarantine for two weeks and get a COVID-19 test just to watch my children for a few hours. I’m certainly not going to hire a sitter to come over in the dead of winter and hang out indoors with my children, all masked up for hours on end. No, just no.

Then, there’s the big reason why we opt to follow the CDC COVID-19 guidelines. I have a chronic, autoimmune disease. Though I don’t have compromised immunity, getting sick with anything can be complicated for me. My blood sugars can go up (and stay up) putting me at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA is basically a condition when the body starts shutting down. If you think this sounds horrible, you’d be correct. I can go downhill, fast. Going to the ER during a pandemic doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.

Plus, I have four kids to take care of. Why would I go out at the risk of getting a virus that can make me and my entire family ill? No, thanks.

Date nights can happen at home. There are major perks to staying at home with the hubs, like not changing out of my sweats. I never liked going to the movie theatre anyway. It’s overpriced, over-crowded, and I can’t pause the movie when I need to pee. We can stream a movie from the comfort of our couch, eat as much popcorn as we want, and not drain our bank account to pay a sitter and for a mediocre restaurant meal.

What I don’t get is why someone who is so adamant on denying science gets her panties in a wad over another person’s choice to listen to guidelines and follow them? What is she (and others) so angry about? Until we collectively act responsibly when it comes to the coronavirus, it’s going to keep cramping our style and killing our happy vibes.

Normally, I never reply to those looking for a fight. However, I broke my boundary and responded that calling a chronically ill person a Karen for following CDC guidelines is ableist and rude. I also told her that no, my children haven’t been hanging out with friends and family, unless outside, distanced, and masked.

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I wasn’t alone in my feelings about staying home right now. Several posters, for their own reasons, responded that date nights were off the table at the moment given the pandemic. This didn’t make the poster too happy.

Per usual, there’s always those online group members who post only to start a team sport, garnering support for their cause. They aren’t really asking for honest input. That’s too much. They get their feelings, especially their pride, hurt real easily.

I’m to the point where I can’t go on a rampage against every person who doesn’t follow the CDC guidelines to stay home when possible, wear a mask, and socially distance. There are still so many deniers, despite the fact that over 400,000 Americans (and counting) have died from COVID-19 and there’s been over 24,000,000 infections. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that some people are choosing to argue for their “freedoms” over the lives of their fellow humans.

I do take their denial and subversive actions personally. I’m a vulnerable population, and when I encounter someone who won’t wear a mask (or wears it over their mouth only), who won’t stay out of my bubble, and who says I’m being paranoid, I feel disregarded. Does my life not matter as much as theirs? To them, I guess not. I’m duped and disposable.

Maybe it was a waste of my time to tell Date Night Debbie that I’m not headed out for steak with my hubby because of the pandemic. I think my frustration with the don’t-tell-me-what-to-do people came to a head, and I just let her know what I thought. I wasn’t rude. I was honest.

It was too much for her. She has her mind made up, as do many, that the virus isn’t that serious. I can’t believe after nearly a year of this, there are still some who refuse to acknowledge the toll the pandemic has taken on our society and who refuse to do their small part to help. They are exhausting and burdening the rest of us. I wish I had some sort of wisdom or encouragement to share, but the reality is, like those of you who are also following guidelines, we are just over it.