Canes Covering Coronavirus, Florida, Miami

Some Southern states are thinking of reopening but I still plan to isolate

Kay-Ann Henry
April 24

Some Southern states are thinking of reopening but I still plan to isolate

I woke up this morning thinking not about my impending Zoom classes or my grocery list but about the many developing countries that are facing extreme levels of famine and poverty because of this pandemic. While many people are dying in large numbers in virtually most Western countries and we’re all facing a similar national crisis, there are places in this world that have been experiencing turmoil for years, and the pandemic has only made it worse.

I’m thinking about those families who couldn’t provide food for their children before the virus and how the virus has probably made food and water scarce. I’m thinking about those families who are homeless, live in densely populated slums, and how they can’t afford to socially distance or isolate. I’m thinking about those countries whose governments don’t have face masks or ventilators for those who already contracted the virus. There are a plethora of folks in developing countries who this virus will devastate and the rest of the world will not notice. It is a privilege for us living in America to be able to socially isolate. This is why I will keep isolating myself even if the governor of Florida decides to reopen the state.

Along with 5 other Southern States, Florida and our governor, Ron DeSantis is making plans to reopen their states in the next coming days, and despite concerns from citizens not to, it seems like they will continue with their plan anyways. The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, has already announced that he will be lifting the state’s stay at home order on April 30. Not only do these upcoming decisions render these governors incompetent in my eyes, but they render them as people who are not social servants. If anything, the sole purpose of politics is to help your constituents and serve the people however you can. If you truly care about all the people you serve, of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, then one would know that reopening the state in the midst of a pandemic is negligent.

In America, the virus is ravaging our elderly and minority population. Those who are older, live in lower-income neighborhoods, and who identify as Black are at high risk of dying from the coronavirus. And with only a few of the population being tested so far, this puts all the other untested people at a disadvantage. The solution, at least for right now, seems like it should be clear: keep isolating, have the government support society’s most affected and administer more testing.

However, our particular government wants to open massage parlors, gyms and nail salons and theorizes injecting Lysol into our bodies to stop the virus. We are kinda doomed. I am kinda doomed; after all, I am a Black woman with the preexisting condition of asthma living in a state that will likely reopen as soon as April is done. But I still have the privilege of living in a country and in a metaphorical place where I have all the essential needs of food, water, shelter and air, and for that I am grateful. I will continue to isolate, try to finish this academic semester on a good note, and find ways to support those who desperately need it right now.  

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April 24, 2020


Leah Harper

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