OpEd titled “Envisioning A state of Care in a Time of COVID-19” on Medium
Image Credit: Posted to Instagram by Southern Poverty Law Center. Image of Dolores Huerta, Labor leader and civil rights activist stating: “Every single day we sit down to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and at our table we have food that was planted, picked or harvested by a farm worker. Why is that the people who do the most sacred work in our nation are the most oppressed, the most exploited?”
Every night, from 7:00pm to 7:02pm, it begins. There’s hooting and hollering, whistling, horn-blowing, the banging of pots and pans, beeping from passing cars, and even a parked car backfiring over and over and over again. Interrupting the sirens of ambulances, these are attempts by the residents who are advised and able to stay home, to support those who are not.
Timed to coincide with the evening shift change at hospitals, this noise-making is specifically a salute to our nurses and doctors and other medical professionals who are risking their lives to save lives, and dying at alarming rates. But other, less visibilized workers are also on the frontlines and face equal if not greater risk. These other essential workers outlined herein point to the ills that are foundational to our existing society while also illuminating future directions that, if taken seriously, promise to better protect us all going forward.