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Collected Item: “The Dangerous Luxury of Claiming You've Rejected Society”

Give your story or documents a unique title.

The Dangerous Luxury of Claiming You've Rejected Society

Tell us a story; share your experience. Or describe the item you are submitting. What does the object or story you've uploaded say about the pandemic, and/or why is it important to you?

Early in the pandemic, a man I knew died of Covid-19 in an overwhelmed hospital. I kept thinking he might not have died if the hospital had been better funded. Then I remembered he had once insisted to me that he lived outside society. I saw a sad connection: hospitals and public health in general were underfunded because too many people felt they did not share a common society with others. More thoughts about Covid and community started flooding my mind. Eventually I pulled these thoughts together in a short essay.

What sort of object is this, and where did you find it? (Examples: text story, photograph, screenshot, drawing, meme, personal essay, street art, etc.)

Personal essay

Are you the sole creator of these materials? Then select "I am sole creator." If no, please select "I have co-creators" and list the names of the content co-creators, their contact information, and the circumstances of how you came to have the materials. IMPORTANT: Each co-creator must fill out this form in order for the item to be accepted by the archives. However, only one co-creator is required to upload any document.)

I am sole creator

Name of the item creator, unless anonymous. If creator is unknown, leave blank.

Ellen Balleisen

Use tags (separated by commas) to describe your story or documents. For example: Does it relate to a particular neighborhood? Does it relate to a particular aspect of the pandemic?

Covid death, overwhelmed hospital, mask refusal, community, libertarianism, Donald Trump, white privilege

Give a date associated with this story or documents.


What is your affiliation, if any, with Bronx Community College?

Data analyst in Institutional Research; Retired director of CLIP and CUNY Start

If what you are submitting was created as part of a Bronx Community College class, please indicate the course code (i.e., ENG1010) semester, and professor:


Select this box to agree to the Creative Commons NC-ND license as described in the above Submission Agreement.

I agree to a CC-ND-NC Licence
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