If you are a Laurel and Hardy fan, then you totally get the meaning of “another nice mess you’ve gotten us (me) into.” Each movie was a series of antics that started with one innocent act that led to a series of escalating events that culminated in a total collapse of a building, a car crash a train derailment. Each one funnier than the other, but this is no laughing matter. The Oxford English Dictionary shows that back in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as English was coming into its own, nice meant “stupid” or “foolish.” (From the Baltimore Sun)
What a “nice mess” a series of lapses has caused. Once again, innocent people will unfortunately die, and a significant number will be African American. I heard the comment it was because we have so many comorbidities, and that is true. Another real problem is that so many of us do not have the privilege to work from home. We are on the frontlines, even in healthcare. We are the Certified nursing assistants for home care agencies, in nursing homes, in assisted livings and group homes. We are working on the front lines in every area of the hospital, from foodservice to cleaning services, and more. So, when we finally succumb to COVID-19, it will be due to our inability to shelter in place because we are deemed essential personnel. African-Americans comprise a large percent of transit workers, sanitation engineers, new Amazon hires, and working in Supermarkets. Walmart is a significant employer of people of color.
So, let’s not be silent. We must make sure that we are recognized as those unsung heroes that are once again keeping this country running. The blame game will paint us as overweight and sick, but there are many healthy people also dying from this disease. The problem is a lack of access to good primary care and low paying essential jobs that put us in harm’s way. We will see this play out in the rural and urban areas across the country. This disease will spread because of the lack of response by local officials in rural areas in the south and Midwest and by even the ignorance of church officials who are still having church services. We need a two-prong approach from healthcare. To protect ourselves, we need to protect our vulnerable populations that are held hostage to a system that is stacked against them.
Let’s fight to get the statistics out there so that once again, we do not have false information. No, this is not a conspiracy, and the numbers are not being inflated.
“I agree that income disparity is the great issue of our time. It is even broader and more difficult than the civil rights issues of the 1960s. The ’99 percent’ is not just a slogan. The disparity in income has left the middle class with lowered, not rising, income, and the poor unable to reach the middle class.”