I basically took a photo of an Alexandrite gem and color picked from it to get a sort of thematic palette for this illustration. It was pretty fun, and I want to create more pieces with this method of color picking from cut gems.

I’d also like to give a huge rant again. Last summer it was about telling people stay inside and wear a mask if they went out. Now it’s about getting the vaccine. I guess we’re better off than before in a bunch of ways but it’s still incredibly tragic and utterly outrageous how people are still acting.

I traveled by plane a few weeks ago to visit some family and when I went out, I noticed a lot of people not wearing masks. The statistics in the US is that about half of us are fully vaccinated. There are millions of people who absolutely do not want to get it, like half of all Republicans. The vaccination rates are lowest in Trump-supporting states. Some go-to talking points from the conservatives are “personal freedom” and making sure the government doesn’t impose their agenda on them.

Okay let’s start with the mask thing. I’m telling you right now I’m fucking uncomfortable with how many people in crowded or populated places are absolutely not wearing masks nor even trying to practice social distancing. On many occasions I was the only one wearing a mask and yeah, I felt really weird. I’d take my mask off outside unless there’s a bunch of people around but I try to keep my mask on indoors at all times. Yeah, I do care about the awkwardness, but not enough for me to take my mask off. Because people are still suffering, whether from catching Covid or having a loved one die from Covid. My discomfort is absolutely nothing compared to all the bullshit other people have been going through, and I can’t stand the thought of me callously not putting in even the bare minimum effort to prevent myself or others getting sick with something that has killed so many people so quickly.

I’m absolutely outraged that there are so many people who contract Covid, end up at the hospital, recover from it and are still determined to not get the vaccine and not take this pandemic seriously. The vaccine, wearing masks… it’s all been politicized, but also when I’m out there around people in real life and the subject comes up, it’s categorized as a “personal” thing. Like, oh well we’re gonna respect people if they decide not to get the vaccine or if they decide not to wear a mask, don’t ask people if they got the vaccine, it’s very personal…

This line of thinking is incredibly aggravating. It’s NOT fucking personal! For the vast majority of people, it seriously isn’t! It fucking isn’t! This is a fucking PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS, your actions affect others! Including the ones you love, including the people you have a responsibility to protect!

I know in the abstract there are millions of people who really think a bunch of bullshit about vaccines and aren’t getting it for Covid. I mean, I’m saying it right now. But when I watch people not wearing masks around me in person, watch interviews of Republicans who still think the coverage on this pandemic is overblown, it gets too fucking real. I’m thoroughly outraged.

All this bullshit about “freedom?” Republicans don’t fucking know the meaning of the words that come out of their mouth. Getting Covid that cripples you and/or your family or your own fellow country people is the very opposite of freedom.

Only recently I heard some people like Fox News actually telling people to get the vaccine. After like, months of saying “if people who are vaccinated still need to wear a mask, the vaccine doesn’t really work does it?!” and Tucker Carlson saying shit like “Call Child Protective Services if you see a child wearing a mask!” …. What the fuck does the Republican Party stand for?! They wait for months and months of people suffering and dying before they wake up and realize if they keep pushing their ant-vaccine rhetoric, there’s gonna be no one left to vote for them. Wow.

You know what kind of laws we have in place to protect people? Seatbelts, smoking areas, drinking ages, driving ages, building safety codes…

What the fuck would it sound like to you if people went

“I’m exercising my freedom to build this elevator without doors!”
“I’m exercising my freedom to speed through every red light!”
“I’m exercising my freedom of speech to discourage people from taking the Covid vaccine!”

You know what, I bet a ton of Americans think this way anyway. What I just wrote above isn’t actually that crazy I guess. Millions of people really think guns shouldn’t be as regulated as cars. Freedom means something different to different people.

It deeply infuriates me that cases are coming up again. I am fully vaccinated, most of the people I am in close contact with are also fully vaccinated. I don’t know what the Republican voters think they actually stand for. The GOP politicians don’t give a flying fuck when their constituents are suffering and dying. I fucking do. I care. My sense of humanity comes first before party, because Covid doesn’t give a shit about what anybody thinks. You’re not exempt from getting infected with Covid just because you say you have a superior immune system. Anytime anybody dies from Covid because they’d been fed all the blatant propaganda from people like Trump and Fox News, it’s just tragic and absolutely senseless, no matter how fucking stupid they are. I don’t think those people deserve it, even if so many people think they do deserve to die of Covid after eating up all the conservative bullshit.

I don’t fucking care how lame I am right now in saying this, but I wish everyone in my country had free and easy access to good quality healthcare. I wish minimum wage was enough for people to make ends meet, I wish education was free for everyone here, I wish people respected science, experts and doctors and nurses who have been fighting to save our lives and protect the rest of us. I wish this public health crisis didn’t become politicized, and I feel afraid that in my own country, thinking the way I do makes me a target. It’s considered radical, it makes me somehow dangerous to think that everyone deserves better from our government.

I don’t really know how relieved I should be that I and my family/friends are fully vaccinated and my country has a higher vaccination rate, that we’re in an arguably “better” place than before. I don’t know how much pain I should be feeling for others when they have suffered and/or lost a loved one or a few, and that other countries like India are still going through a more dire health crisis than we are. Their politicians aren’t even acknowledging the problem appropriately, and are instead silencing or punishing critics of their government. I feel guilty that I’m enjoying my privilege and that there’s probably something more that I could do and I’m not doing it.

At the bare minimum, I’d just like to implore you to get the vaccine if you haven’t and you are able to. Please. The small inconvenience of the vaccine is nothing compared to the inconvenience of getting the actual infection yourself or giving it to someone else. People shouldn’t have to pay such a high price as losing a loved one before waking up to reality.

I truly hope our cases don’t skyrocket come this fall and winter, I really hope that Republicans continue to tell people to get vaccinated. I hope you all stay safe and healthy.