Captains Log, star date 260320.
It’s been six weeks since our lockdown began, 42 days inside what we are calling our spaceship.
Earlier the crew were chatting about this milestone and wondering where we might be on our voyage through space. In order to share my findings in style, I’ve donned a suitably space-age tracksuit and n the spirit of the journey we’re on, I’ve made a badge for the NASA of now – No Ableist Shit Allowed.
If you do the countdown, I’ll get ready to wow you with the stats! “5, 4, 3, 2, Sheepdog…”
Stat one: It takes 3 days to get to the moon, so we could’ve gone there and back, stopping for a picnic lunch, 7 times!
Stat two: It takes 97 days to get to Venus, so we’d be just over halfway there.
Stat three: It takes around 7 months to get to Mars (196 days) so we’d be about a quarter of the way to the Red Planet.
It takes a long time to prepare for space travel and we were all thrown into our ships at short notice, but fortunately there are those among us who’ve been training for this for years – disabled people.
Many of us have experienced sudden change and have adapted to hostile environments and going into the unknown. Alice Wong brilliantly described disabled people as ‘Oracles’ in today’s world. We can also be your captains – many disabled people are sharing their knowledge to help navigate this surreal and often scary experience.
This isn’t a time for inept leaders who chat irresponsibly about disinfectant, it’s a time to be led by those with knowledge – whether that’s scientific expertise or the lived expertise of the many disabled people who’ve been navigating this space for generations.
It doesn’t matter that I haven’t left the spaceship in six weeks or that I have no idea of our precise destination. What I do know is that while we may feel alone, this is a journey we need to make together. Some people will be on it way longer than others and we must make sure no one’s left behind.