People are hurting, some scared, and alone. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the concerns are not just for life, but for livelihood, resources, and community.
Every day, my mother, a Certified Nurse Practitioner for over 30 years, faces a decision concerning how to keep not just herself, but her family safe after caring for her community during this pandemic. Other healthcare workers and first responders face the same dilemma. Despite being called “essential workers” and putting their lives on the line, many people in these jobs are not adequately paid or protected.
History shows that severe illness and death rates tend to be higher for racial and ethnic minority populations during public health emergencies than for other populations. Housing concerns and injustices in minority communities make it difficult to self-isolate, and poor air quality in these communities has been linked to more COVID related deaths and infections.
Large corporations take advantage of many economic relief plans, but some small businesses struggle to get relief from the Payment Protection Program.
We have witnessed an administration that has fallen short on all sides in both preparing for this crisis and responding to it as well.
This health crisis needs to be addressed with decisive planning and direct action. Our district needs support systems that keep our communities safe and cared for, as well as leadership that provides informed guidance concerning steps moving forward.