Pandemic Perspective - Part Two
May 1st, 2020
Executive Director Dr. Bruce Roller shares his thoughts on living during a time of pandemic in this four-part series of short, two minute videos.
Compliant or Complicit
A second perspective shift in living through this coronavirus pandemic is not to see it as a political device. Left-wing, right-wing and centrist people are getting sick and dying.
At the time of this writing, with a million known cases, more Americans have died from COVID-19 in the past few months than died in the two decades of the Vietnam war. Rather than flag-draped coffins arriving at our airports, the symbol for the deaths in this pandemic is bodies in refrigerated trucks because there is no room available in morgues.
Even though the curve is not flattened some people are not wearing masks, are not physically distancing and are applying political pressure to relieve restrictions that are saving lives.
We must not expose more people to this deadly virus. Without adequate testing (including testing non-symptomatic people who are spreading this invisible enemy unknowingly), with a usable vaccine months away, we cannot conscientiously relax life-saving measures.
When non-essential establishments re-open, unemployment compensation will be eliminated for people who refuse to go back to their jobs. The choice is to risk death for themselves and their loved ones or to be unable to pay the bills. Once more it is the people with low to moderate incomes whose lives are put in jeopardy.
Here is what UCOM will do over the next several weeks (months?). We will continue to model empathy with our neighbors by following the advice of reputable medical people and scientists. We will err on the side of safety by keeping our facility as free of contamination as possible. This means that we will keep our building closed, cleaned and sanitized, while continuing to offer some choice and outside pickups of healthful emergency and supplemental food. We will utilize pantry staff and volunteers on a weekly alternating basis to protect as many people as we can, and to prevent interruption in food services.
When state directives are lifted we will follow prudent guidance from medical personnel. When we are convinced that we can do so safely, we will slowly implement changes to gatherings. The new normal may not look normal to us.
We will not be intimidated by political pressure nor coerced by people who think they know more than the leading scientists and medical experts. Gut reactions will take second place to informed decisions, collective wisdom and human empathy.
Those who do not comply with the guidelines advised by experts to prevent sickness and death are complicit with this virus in doing irreparable harm to our neighbors and to our world.
UCOM speaks out for equity, health and life. We have done that for 35 years and we will not deviate from our core values of community, faith and respect for one another.