This week has been rough for a lot of different reasons, for a lot of different people.
To those who cannot buy essentials at the store because you can only afford to shop one week at a time and those with a bigger car and a bigger paycheque and a bigger freezer bought up all the stuff: I see you.
To those who don’t have WIFI or a laptop to work from home: I see you.
Those who will go without a paycheque because your work is closed: I see you.
To those whose classes are cancelled, and dorms are closed and have nowhere to go: I see you.
To those who are disabled and were told that working from home and doing meetings via conference call was impossible, and now it suddenly is: I see you.
To those whose struggles in human rights suddenly cease to get media attention: I see you.
To those who cannot get childcare while your kids are home from school: I see you.
To the children who depend on school programs for meals: I see you.
To those experiencing racism and prejudice as a result of this virus, especially Chinese and Asian people: I see you.
To those who are homeless and cannot practise the basic hygiene which helps to prevent coronavirus: I see you.
To the American inmates manufacturing hand sanitizer for an average wage of 65 cents an hour (and will not receive soap or hand sanitizer): I see you.
To the elderly folks who are trapped inside and cannot access essential medications and food: I see you.
The coronavirus proves that caring for the most vulnerable in our society protects us all. Paid sick leave, affordable housing, affordable and accessible food, a fair justice system, access to the internet, etc. are rights that enable people to stay home during a pandemic and practise proper hygiene without suffering. This protects us all.
To the doctors who continue to speak truth to power: thank you.
To the medical staff who work tirelessly while lacking critical supplies: thank you.
To the grocery store staff, garbage collectors, emergency respondents, and all the patient, crucial people who continue to do their jobs: thank you.
To the medical staff from China who are helping Italians, the Vietnamese and Filipino researchers who designed and manufactured test kits so quickly: thank you for expertise and goodwill.
Times like this bring out the best and the worst in humanity. Let them bring out your kindness, your peace, and your prayers. Protect those who are more vulnerable than you.