Updated: Jun 29, 2020
I'm tired. Like most of you. I'm just so, so tired.
This is day 60 of quarantine, and now I've been among the unemployed for three months. Yup. Technically longer, but who's counting anymore, anyway?
During this time I've noticed there has been three main behaviors rising to the top of feeds: mental health from the perspective of privilege, advice on how to stay at home, and platitudes that one day you'll look back and be grateful for the time at home. Oh yes, and the ever-obnoxious question of, "how have you spent your quarantine? Have you learned a new skill? What about starting a new business, or gained new certifications?"
I'm tired of the lip service, the advice, the opinions and the "experts." I'm tired of the Beckys talking about their anxiety and the Karens protesting for haircuts. I'm tired of the employers slashing the salary for positions because the competition is so high, I'm tired of the questions about my productivity during a pandemic. I'm tired that I'm not deemed a valuable member of society with health needs that are important, unless I'm working for a company that offers benefits. I'm tired of scrolling through Facecrack, Instasuck and TikTokMyTimeAway for there to be nothing more than another person popping up and telling me HOW to be okay with this. The truth is, none of this is okay, and no one should be okay with any of this.
It's not normal that we have 30M people unemployed.
It's not normal that people have a lot of advice, but not a lot of solutions.
It's not normal that some people deem themselves above another and fly, travel, wear no masks and demand their life go back to how they want it.
It's not normal that we have to spin how we spent the third stressful time in our generations lives, yet another recession, into gold to "stand out" and be hired for a 1/3 of our value.
It's not normal that $1200 is considered enough to live off of, for months.
It's not normal that the only ones talking are the ones not struggling.
It's not normal that everyone is now a coach, a counselor, an advisor, a leadership executive and a recruiter.
It's not normal that doctors, surgeons, medical professionals are considered labor - not human - required to treat and heal anyone regardless of how they treat themselves.
It's not normal that we have a TRUE mental health crisis, but instead we're hearing about the ones who have the time to sit on social media and flip their whiteness into a crisis and call it being open and understanding.
It's not normal the medical professionals, particularly doctors, are in a deeper epidemic that still hasn't received the attention leading to change it deserves - suicide isn't new - you just have a reason to care now. For without our doctors, who will care for those who don't care about themselves?
It's not normal that my PoC friends are scared to run, jog, walk or to even take a road trip because of racism.
It's not normal that this is our reality, when it could have been avoided.
Okay so I've ranted. I want solutions - but what am I actually talking about? Here are some ideas:
I want murders to be tried in court, for justice to be blind. How do we do that? Someone gets shot, killed, you find the person(s) who did it, and you arrest them and investigate.
I want employers, small businesses, big companies, even entrepreneurs to expect that the Federal government that they, we, all pay into, to take care of us. We are country that values productivity and those who provide the opportunity for people to be workers. We all pay into a system to help us when we cannot achieve this. How can we shutter our doors and allow many to go on unemployment to be told they don't qualify because the business cannot afford to pay it out? While rich get richer, not to channel Bernie here, but the man had ideas and Warren had plans. But I digress. It's a political year, but I don't need to get political. My point is, we are looking to each other for help, when we have a government that is supposedly "for the people, by the people" that is supposed to help. Yes, the sense of community and helping your neighbor is what also makes America great, but it shouldn't be at the peril of livelihoods. If you're going to take away your citizens ability to work, and the ability to provide work, don't demand ingenuity that favors certain demographics and socioeconomic groups, instead, help. Give the people back their money. Set a baseline for what it means to be an American: economically, professionally and spiritually. I think this is why I fell so hard for Yang. Anyway this is what we fought against - oppression, oligarchy, dictatorships and instilled the truth that each person has the right to pursue happiness and by paying their fair share, by what they can pay, they will always have a system that cares for them in this pursuit.
I want us not to reopen. I know that's a hot take. But we don't have a vaccine. We instead had a worn out healthcare system that offer platitudes, while actively objecting to proactive behaviors (we've seen the protests - who fights doctors and nurses, though, really?), and a lot of antsy people eager to explore, entertain and spread themselves all over. So, who will take care of everyone when we're losing healthcare professionals to suicide, to COVID-19, to exhaustion to termination. Who will care for us, those we don't care for ourselves or our community? I instead, like above, want the programs we pay into, to support us, as we find ways to heal and open with a sense of respect.
I want a re-employment plan in place before we open up and the flood gates of people becomes more dense at shelters, food lines and more. How are we getting people back to work? We're so ready to spend money, but how are we earning money?
I want us to actually consider that other countries know what they're doing and are experiencing the same plague. The same struggles and the same outcomes. Can we not learn from each other? We see that as counties, states and other countries open up, a resurgence occurs. So, what then? We want to couple this with flu season?
I want us to stop having to beg for our government, which is made by the people, to actually act FOR THE PEOPLE!
Anyway, I could rant on and on, and I will. But for now, I'm wrapping up and would love to hear any thoughts on any of this.
Your girl on the inside,