Taylor Lorenz rebukes Matthew Yglesias for joking about COVID-19: ‘Hope you can have a little more empathy’

News & Politics

Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz chided writer Matthew Yglesias for joking about COVID-19.

“Some personal news: I have contracted the novel coronavirus,” Yglesias tweeted on Sunday. “Frankly, I think the virus should respect Father’s Day more than this,” he added in another post. “FYI, all future typos are due to long Covid,” he wrote.

But Lorenz took issue with Yglesias joking about the illness, and indicated that he should be more empathetic.

“I’m glad it’s a joke for u Matt and that you’re lucky enough to get access to great care, but for those who have had their lives destroyed by the virus and who have had loved ones die from or suffer w/ LC it’s not funny. Hope you can have a little more empathy, especially today,” Lorenz tweeted.

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“Hi Taylor, can I joke about it?” someone else wrote in response to Lorenz. “This is me, the first time I sat up after the coma they had to put me in due to covid. It nearly killed me 4 times in the 41 days I was in the coma. You have a choice, crack jokes, or let it destroy your mind so I say start joking and keep it up.”

“There’s a big difference btw joking abt ur own condition at ur own expense, & joking at the expense of others, especially those who are suffering. Continually minimizing an illness that is still devastating so many is harmful. I encourage you to learn about lateral ableism,” Lorenz replied.

“Dear G-d I am a half crippled, fat, balding, internet s[***]poster, and still more likeable then you,” the individual declared in response to Lorenz.

Washington Post wellness editor Tara-Parker Pope agreed with Lorenz on the issue.

“I wish you a speedy recovery and no lingering symptoms @mattyglesias Millions have not been as fortunate. I know of what I speak. Covid killed my stepmom and my dad developed long Covid. So no, Covid is not funny. Long covid is not a joke. @TaylorLorenz is right about this,” Parker-Pope tweeted.

Mehdi Hasan also contended that Yglesias should not make jokes about the topic: “I hope you get better soon and I also hope you don’t get Long Covid. If you do, you’ll see it’s not something to joke about or mock,” Hasan tweeted.

Taylor Lorenz said during an interview earlier this year that she has faced online harassment and threats against her family members, and has even considered suicide.

“I post a Twitter reply or like someone’s comment & the right wing media generates a massive cable news and online media cycle amplifying it to millions, driving thousands of hatful messages and threats against me/my loved ones, I think it’s clear which side is ‘freaking out,'” Lorenz tweeted on Monday.

Lorenz posted the comment in response to someone who had tweeted that Lorenz “could just try not freaking out online everyday.”



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