On Saturday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted to Instagram highlighting her bout with COVID-19, condemning the term "mild" being used to describe the most recent variant of the virus and the shortened quarantine guidance.
"Welp, so it happened. Got COVID, probably omicron. As of today I am thankfully recovered and wrapping up quarantine, but COVID was no joke," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in an Instagram post over the weekend.
On Jan. 9, her office announced that the New York representative had tested positive for the virus, with many noting that the positive test came after she traveled to Florida, and was depicted at a number of places without a mask.
"For a while I've noted the term 'mild' is misleading when the bar is hospitalization and death," wrote Ocasio-Cortez, who is boosted.
She continued on to state that mild cases of COVID-19 can result in long term symptoms, like "cognitive impairment, POTS, and chronic fatigue."
"This isn't to be a downer or induce fear, just a reminder that we need to be careful (N95s in crowded indoor spaces like stores) and if you do get it, it's key to care for yourself and REST," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Ocasio-Cortez continued on to slam the CDC's shortening of COVID-19 quarantine guidelines. In December, the CDC shortened its quarantine guidelines for Americans who contract COVID-19 from 10 days to five days. The CDC stated that the change came after evidence revealed that those who catch the virus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.
"The idea of forcing people to work just 5 days after symptoms start is sociopathic and 100% informed by a culture that accepts sacrificing human lives for profit margins as a fair trade," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. The progressive continued on to note that "the good news is that we have an antidote: community."
Ocasio-Cortez wrote that "much of the emphasis of media conversations" on COVID-19 are "individualistic," including pushing people to wear masks and get vaccinated for their own health, rather than for those around them.
"And while some of these recommendations are good- like getting a vaccine + wearing masks where appropriate, the motivations for them shouldn't just be selfish. It should also be bc we actually give a damn about other people - our disabled neighbors, our coworkers who haven't said (and shouldn't feel obligated to say) they're immunocompromised, etc," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
"It's truly bizarre to me that giving a shit about other people is a polarizing political stance, but my dad used to say that life makes you repeat lessons until you learn them," the high-profile "Squad" member continued.
Ocasio-Cortez stated that the best way to overcome challenge is not through "rugged individualism" and the "bootstrap propaganda we've been spoon-fed since birth," but rather through "community and collective good."
"Individualism is inadequate for planetary forces like climate change or global pandemics, no less societal ones like healthcare, economic inequity and racism. But WE, as a collective, can confront them. In a world of MEs, let's build team WE," Ocasio-Cortez concluded the lengthy Instagram post.