By Giovanna Adams •
We’ve all heard the sentiment over and over again. It feels good to hear and it feels good to say, doesn’t it? Those words are comforting and encouraging during a time when we are all facing uncertainty and insurmountable burdens.
It really is a nice sentiment, but it’s difficult to feel the “togetherness” when there are still health inequities in the Black community that are literally killing us right now. There are so many stories about families with multiple deaths due to COVID. In most of these cases, tests were not accessible.
I recently read a story about a father that died in his bedroom while sitting in his easy chair. His wife was in the bed beside him. She chronicled his symptoms. The last she wrote was, “labored breathing and racing heart.” This husband friend, and father had been turned away from the hospital and was unable to be tested or treated.
It doesn’t stop there. Many students are still without Internet access. Some families have to share one computer and in other families it is up to older siblings to watch the younger ones, while parents have no choice but to return to their essential jobs.
We are all exposed to a virus that has taken over our world, changing our livelihoods, and challenging our perceptions of what it means to live. Until we are able to grapple with the reasons these inequities still exist and thrive, we will be unable to meet societal challenges “together”. At this moment, we all have the same enemy. The issue we face is that COVID doesn’t affect us all in the same way. We may all be in this, but our fight and our weapons are not the same.
Giovanna Adams is a writer and CEO of HB4 Diversity, whose work includes supporting municipalities in the process to be more equitable. She is passionate about using dialogue to amplify the voices of marginalized individuals and to spark systemic change.