‘Unresolved grief’: coronavirus presents eerie parallels for many Aids advocates


Because of the coronavirus, the 7 million people who live in the San Francisco Bay Area have been one step shy of a full lockdown since Tuesday. Amid all the canceled plans, cratering small businesses and disruptions to everyday life, another poignant postponement stands out: The Names Project Aids Memorial Quilt’s return to Golden Gate park has been delayed. A viral pandemic, one whose scale we haven’t fully grasped, has interacted with another. Many Americans have drawn parallels between HIV and Covid-19, noting the inept government response, the stigmatization of certain groups and the heroism of frontline health workers. Like a ghoulish reboot of a television show, some of the same people have returned. Deborah Birx, a longtime HIV doctor in the US military who later became the United States Global Aids coordinator, now serves as the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus task force. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist, has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

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