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Elsie Tellier: How My Disability Prepared Me for Covid-19

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July 13, 2020

Elsie Tellier is an intern with the Disability Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. She graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology from Harvard University and is currently a student at the University of Toronto Law School.

Yesterday was Disability Pride Day, and July marks Disability Pride Month. We are honoured to share Elsie’s dispatch for Human Rights Watch, where she draws on her own experiences to explore how persons with disabilities have developed tools of resilience in the face of social isolation and COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of Elsie Tellier

“As a young woman with cystic fibrosis, celebrating disability pride while in my 149th day of isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on even greater meaning. My body is in many ways limited by my disability; the pain and shortened life expectancy I experience. But the pandemic has made me realize even more the abilities I have to survive and cope that many without disabilities do not possess. I have worn a surgical mask nearly daily for seven years to protect myself from germs that could trigger recurring lung infections, and I have spent months indoors, isolated in bed because of my waning health.” 

Read more at Human Rights Watch.