Protests have been happening all week in my city, but I also know COVID is still an active virus out there. Do the two mix? I want to get involved and show my support by marching, but I also want to be aware that we are still in a pandemic and care for others by staying away. What to do?
Sincerely, A Protestor Worried About COVID
Yes, I hear you on this one. Up until Memorial Day the biggest news of the day was staying inside as to not infect others with COVID-19. There are several areas of the country that are still fairly locked down with quarantine in place except for a few things. For almost three months we have been told to social distance.
Now, the protests are on across the nation and there is a need to march together. Social distance is not what we want, but rather social togetherness to show our strength and resistance to the institutionalized racism in America. The time for distance is over in this context. People are coming together as one to protest.
What to do? It is right to realize the virus is active. People think there will be an explosion of cases where all of these protests are happening. So, if you join one my guess is you will not maintain social distance, but you can wear a mask and gloves to protect from droplets from the other and to protect them from yours as well.
If it is just too close contact for you even while wearing a mask, there are many ways to protest besides heading to the marches. Donate to causes, shop at black-owned business, read, speak out, become aware of your privilege and work to change it by becoming honest with yourself, places signs in your car or in the windows of your home.
These are just a few suggestions. This movement is wide and needs so much support in so many ways. Do not think because you are not marching due to COVID, you are not engaging in the struggle. Find ways to do so, embrace them, and add your voice and actions to the cause, while at the same time protecting the health of your community.
Many people feel safe out there or just feel their safety is a secondary concern. For you, who I hear is seeking to abide by the COVID quarantine measures, that is OK too.
It’s a long fight. Do what you can and support everyone else in how they are participating as well.