by Lakimbria Penn-White · 20 Mar 2020 · 6 min read
It is terrifying when you do not have all the answers, especially when you are a parent and your children are looking to you for safety. We are living in a very chaotic time due to the fear of the unknown while a feeling of powerlessness and despair creeps over us. Some of us have many questions while others are not sure what to ask or what to do during this difficult period. The issue is that human beings seek comfort and once they receive that comfort, they either experience life lessons, are destined to repeat patterns until they learn from the lesson, or never understand the lesson at all.
Now is actually a very exciting time to be alive. Fear and uncertainty might be taking over our world but I really do believe that underneath it all, this is a time of transformation for our planet.
"No time outs; no substitutions." My dad used that as a mantra to motivate us. Loosely translated? There is no quitting — period.
The heartbreaking deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are sadly nothing new for our country, but they have broken the straw on the proverbial camel's back. All of their stories are tragic in their own right, but the match that lit this fire around the world was the public lynching of George Floyd. I heard about the murder before I ever got a chance to see it, and when clips were being shown I could only stand to digest a good five seconds of what was being captured. Despite all this, the most discouraging part about George Floyd's death is the silence from those around me.
Someone jokingly tweeted that COVID-19 lost a 28-3 lead to racism in America. The analogy is based on the infamous Super Bowl 51 when the frontrunner, the Atlanta Falcons, lost a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots and, as a result, lost the Super Bowl in the last few minutes of the final quarter. This sentiment is still being stated after everything the African American community has endured in America. From 400 years of slavery to the Jim Crow system. From racial profiling leading to the New Jim Crow's mass incarceration of African Americans to the disproportionate cases of police brutality and murders of African Americans, with the most recent incident, no less, occurring in the midst of a global pandemic that is also disproportionately impacting the African American community. No, this is no joke at all and is even more evidence that racism still exists.
In early March, stay-at-home orders were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly people across the world were instructed to quarantine at home. For most people, inside the walls of their home is a place of security and solace. For others, home can be a dangerous place of abuse.In an instant, domestic violence victims around the world became isolated with their abusers causing domestic violence reports to increase by 35% in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. With social isolation and the stress of the unknown, the coronavirus pandemic started to breed dangerous situations at home where violence may have never previously shown its face. Domestic violence quickly became an epidemic within the pandemic.
Think about your favorite piece of music—mine is my mum and my’s favorite song “Wagon Wheel." Think about what happens to you when it is played. You feel good, you want to dance, sing out!