Inequity in the time of COVID-19

Dear Resource Center family,

I send out a weekly internal email titled Thursday Threes highlighting three great things that have taken place during the week. I look forward to sending it out every Thursday. However, last Thursday – in the heaviness of the week, it didn’t feel right. Instead I want to truly and deeply try to name and acknowledge what is most certainly NOT great.

Last week, COVID-19 carried us over the milestone of 100,000 dead in just a few months (officially – we know the number is much higher). Some of us knew and loved some of the lives contained in that number. As you read this, let’s take a moment of silence ‘together.’ I know, we are not together physically, but the universe can sync it up somehow.

This virus and our response to it as a society has exposed the inequity that is rampant. The first (and small) wave of cases were largely among the more affluent, a result of global travel. The second wave – the tidal wave of cases – looks very different in Maryland.

African Americans represent 30% of the population, yet 36% of cases, 48% of deaths.

The Hispanic community represents only 10% of the population, yet an astounding 32% of cases, and 11% of deaths – rising rapidly.

The unjust death of George Floyd has obviously gone far beyond Minnesota and is deeply felt throughout the country and especially African American/Black families everywhere. The system that allowed this to happen – and way, way, way too many cases like it – continues to thrive. The impact of George Floyd’s death at this time when systemic racism is being laid bare all around us challenges us in our response as an organization, as individual human beings. Let’s continue this journey together.

I end with a quote by Brene Brown to think on –

“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than that we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”

Fondly thinking of each of you today,

Jennifer Iverson,
Executive Director