June 11th: COVID-19 and Protesting
Normally my posts these days are reactive, trying to set information straight and sort through it. Today I wanted to share something a bit proactive. I listened to this podcast (link in comment) yesterday and honestly, I just want to post the entire transcription of Dr. El-Sayed’s interview with epidemiologist Dr. Julia Marcus, who emphasizes, now that things are opening up, a “harm reduction” approach as we move away from the lockdown, and also discussed protesting during COVID-19 times. Highlights:
“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, especially Black people, just as every epidemic in this country, for the most part” “We cannot choose between the two, we have to fight both [social injustice and the pandemic].”
“We have to communicate to police and to decision-makers...what police are doing that’s potentially increasing the risk of transmission at these protests.” “Most protesters are wearing masks, [but] that’s not necessarily true of police...Perhaps more important are the ways that police are facilitating crowding, and also driving people into crowds in indoor spaces...including buses and then detainment overnight in jails.”
Some of you have seen the Tweet thread to which I’m linking here. It’s important to know that, as Dr. El-Sayed states, as people got fed up and started to forgo masks and distancing before it was time (many in the name of “fReEdOm”): “Epidemiologists expected the second wave well before there were protests.”
So no, we will NOT be listening to any politicians who try to blame a second wave on protesters and those standing up against actual social injustice. And please, continue to wear a mask, keep distance when possible, don’t yell (use a sign at protests - less droplets!), and don’t wander too much - stay with one group when protesting.