As worried as I am about the coronavirus pandemic, I’m more concerned about what has been exposed by it — income inequality, torn safety net, lack of health insurance, inadequate or nonexistent family and medical leave, food insecurity, housing insecurity, homelessness, and it goes on and on.
What are we going to do about all of this? Is life going to return to “normal” and therefore we won’t pay any more attention to the above then we did before the pandemic?
I say when it’s safe to do so, we rally and march in the streets for our local, state and federal governments to do something about this instead of paying lip service to finding solutions. It’s a disgrace that such a wealthy nation doesn’t take care of our own!
Every human being on this planet should be entitled to food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care. Why aren’t they? Because some people (the 1% and big corporations) are greedy. How much is too much? A billion dollars, many billions of dollars? The rich get richer and the rest of us try to make do. It’s time for a societal revolution to equal the playing field for all of us.
I’m not saying this will be easy; change is difficult. Some new policies will work; some won’t. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! We the people have the power and the ability to change the direction of society through our voices and our votes! Don’t accept the status quo. Demand change. Before the pandemic, I started to cut back on Amazon orders. I shop locally for food, pet food, clothing (I don’t buy it online) and other things. My husband, who is a contractor, buys his materials locally even though it would cost less to buy some online.
There aren’t enough food pantries and homeless shelters in the world to take care of the demand. We need to reduce the demand by giving people the tools they need to be self-sufficient. Housing, food, education, jobs, mental health treatment (remember we’re supposed to have “parity” between mental health treatment and physical diseases), substance use treatment — the list goes on! More of us need to get into the game here instead of leaving it to a few brave souls. There’s a lot to think about here and a lot of action that needs to be taken.
Why aren’t we building more affordable housing? Investing in infrastructure? Education? Job training? Not everyone needs a four-year college degree. We need people who can work with their hands (like my husband). He left a career as a mechanical engineer to fulfill his lifelong dream of being self-employed. He’s loving being in his own contracting business, helping people make their homes beautiful inside and out. A perfect career for a people pleaser!
We need more of them and the collapse of our economy puts people like him (and me) at risk. The most optimistic estimates are that 20% to 30% of small businesses will not survive this pandemic. Please, when this virus subsides, remember to shop your local small businesses. Even though our finances have suffered (like so many others), we’re still trying to do takeout a couple times a week. Wayland Pizza House and Spice & Pepper are two of our local favorites!
Let’s not go back to business as usual when this ends and as we slowly return to a new normal. There are many lessons to learn from this — to pull together as human beings and watch out for our loved ones and others! We’re all in this together. Be well.
This article was published in the Wayland Wicked Local –> https://wayland.wickedlocal.com/news/20200413/debra-goldman-of-wayland-where-do-we-go-from-here