I haven’t done a more casual update post about what’s been going on in my life lately because, well, there hasn’t really been anything going on with me. But there’s a lot going on with the world right now, so it seems like as good of a time as any to check in with you all about life.
In a lot of ways, my life is not very different than it was in March, and April, and May. While I hope that governors are making the right decisions by starting to “open up” again, I basically need to live under the assumption that they’re not. As much as I, too, want to go out to dinner, and spend time with friends and family, there’s no real evidence that the risk has diminished in any real way for me. The hardest part for me is the lack of any real answers or guidelines. We don’t have a clear answer on what is safe for the general public to do right now, and it’s even less clear what’s safe for people who are at higher risk. Since I’ve never been someone who deals with uncertainty well, it’s a struggle for me. I’ve mentioned before that while the city was under stay-at-home orders, my anxiety went down, because everyone was forced to take the precautions that I had to take. But now that things are opening up, and people are out and about, I’m having to re-think all of my actions and make sure I’m taking every single precaution that I can. It feels like people are just…. over it, and while I get that mentality, it doesn’t mean coronavirus is just going away because we’re bored of it being here. And while I understand that we cannot all stay at home indefinitely, it doesn’t make me any less anxious about the logistics of it all.
And then, of course, there are the continued protests against racism and injustices faced by Black people in this country – both at the hands of the police, and in a real, systemic way that is not easy to untangle. While I cannot physically take part in the protests, I’ve been doing my own part, in the ways that I can, to dismantle racism – I’ve been reading, I’ve been diversifying the voices that I listen to, and making a real effort to check my own biases. Something that I’ve learned from my own work in disability advocacy is the difference between equality, and equity, and justice. There are people who can speak on this much better than I can, but the crux of it is not just giving people an equal opportunity, but about reaching out specifically to people who have historically been underrepresented. So, right now, I think the most important thing to do is to listen to Black people, to amplify the stories and voices of Black people, and give them our support – not to talk over them, but to help their voices be the ones that are heard.
It’s a lot to deal with, and it’s heavy, and it’s something that is going to require continual work, beyond a few weeks of protests. So I hope that you’re all taking care of yourselves, and staying safe and healthy, whatever that means to you. Burnout is very real, and I think we’re all at higher risk right now because we’ve been more isolated in the recent months. So remember to practice self-care in whatever form works best for you, and however you’re able to – take a break, stretch, do a meditation, talk to therapist, talk to a friend… make sure you’re still sleeping, and eating well.
I’d love for you all to check in with me in the comments, because I think staying connected is so important right now! Just a little note letting me know how you’re doing, and how you’re feeling.
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I heard on the tape of George Floyd crying out for his mother as he was murdered by the police , then on the news tonight I hear he will be buried next to his mother in Houston.It was at this moment that I realized that George Floyd's mother was probably weeping for him and calling his name as he transitioned from Earth to Heaven! My heart ached at that moment of clarity!❤️❤️
I continue to be frustrated by what appears to be a general sentiment of "being over" Covid-19. I'm anticipating increasing infection rates because the need for continued social distancing and masking is not being honored by so many people across the country. Although this may bring us faster to herd immunity (or at least we hope there will be herd immunity), it will cause unecessary deaths, physical damage, and stress to our medical community. It will also prolong the time when we will need to use these measures. We are all at the mercy of each other at this point and I hate my need to socially isolate to be determined by the inconsiderate actions of others. And you're right. There's no indication that the risk has diminished. Quite the opposite, I think. But at least we're learning more about how this virus operates and how to mitigate risk.
I'm also grateful for the many many people who are literally risking their lives (but really the lives of others, too, sadly) by marching to illuminate this country about the many dark things that are happening in this country and around the world to people whose skin happens to carry more melanin than mine does. I can't be in the streets marching right now, but I wish I could be. I find it shocking that in the middle of protests about police violence, we continue to see so many videos of exactly that being displayed at the protests. If you were policing, wouldn't you work hard to avoid any displays of police violence at this point? I read a book about the history of the "War on Crime" last year that really opened my eyes to the change in policies and tactics that we've been using since the Nixon days. I'l have to look up the title and send it along to you, Heather. I wish I could be out there protesting and supporting and I'm looking for ways to do that while sheltering in place.
It's heartbreaking to watch, and to hear, and to think about.
I completely agree! It's so frustrating to see people out and about and not taking precautions – and know that for you (and me!) it means being stuck inside longer. I hope that you're staying safe and healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally!
I would love for you to send the book title, if you can find it! I've found a lot of solace in doing online activism, since I, like you, can't be in the streets either. There are so many ways to get involved, which I'm grateful for.