Our first post was on March 26, 2020. It is almost our blog’s first year birthday. A year of recording our life during the pandemic: the spikes, the dips, the small pleasures and frustrations, the politics, the information and misinformation. I am proud of the people who contributed to this small record of life. It isn’t easy to find words to describe what will probably be one of the strangest and scariest years we will live through.
Today I read a New York Times story about MLK Community Hospital in South Los Angeles, “by size the hardest-hit hospital in the hardest-hit county in the state now leading the nation in cases and on the brink of surpassing New York with the highest death toll.” The article goes on to say that “Eight out of ten of those who died at M.L.K. hospital were Hispanic, a group with the highest Covid-19 death rates in Los Angeles County, followed by Black residents. County data also showed that the most impoverished Los Angeles residents, many of them around the hospital in South Los Angeles, are dying of the disease at four times the rate of the wealthiest. This is a story repeated around the country to various degrees.
In many places, vaccine sites are located in wealthier, all-white neighborhoods. If a person lacks internet access or computer skills or doesn’t speak English, it can be difficult to register for the vaccine or even to figure out how to register. And then there is the issue of poorer countries having access to vaccines.
I am ashamed to say that before I got my first shot, I was just worried about getting it myself. I can see that being able to think about equity is a luxury of privilege. What can I do now to help in the push to get vaccines to essential workers and low-income communities in this country and in other parts of the world? This should be the work now of everyone who has been vaccinated. This is the way we can carry on.