Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics penned an essay that appeared in The Guardian on Sunday, which aims to inspire people during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also tries to educate people about how it has disproportionally affected people in the United States.
Brown began by warning people to be wary about the information they get, because everyone in power has their own separate agendas — and they may not be the same as yours. But he also urged people to stay calm, because more “turmoil” would only make what we’re dealing with now even more difficult.
In this most dire of times, there have been displays of dissidence, and controversy from our political elites, causing confusion among the public. If that last sentence applies to you, our frustrations are shared. With that being said, it is paramount that everyone remains calm. An outbreak of turmoil and chaos that matches the pandemic would be further detrimental to not just the economy, but to us as a society, and community, as a whole.
Being calm doesn’t mean ignoring what’s happening. Over 30,000 people in the US have died from causes related to the coronavirus, and Brown pointed out that African Americans and people of color make up a disproportionate number of those deaths. He wrote that “our healthcare system could be potentially highlighting injustices this beautiful nation has composed and suppressed since its establishment.”
In light of the hardships that many are experiencing, Brown encouraged people to “extend a hand to a neighbor or friend who may be less fortunate,” especially because people are feeling very isolated during this time of social distancing. And it’s not about just helping the people you know, but also the people you don’t know who could be struggling as much or more than you.
My intention in writing this editorial is to hopefully inspire our society to come together rather than drift farther and farther apart. In the midst of social distancing it is easy to segregate ourselves and our families from the outside world. I challenge you to do the opposite. Donate to your local food banks, homeless shelters and to those less fortunate in general. Allocate resources to healthcare workers, and other extraordinary workers and unsung heroes during this time. Lend a hand to the families and family members of healthcare workers and those who have lost someone, and are in need of economic support. The slightest display of compassion may save someone’s life.
Brown wrote that he’s proud to be a member of the Celtics, and also proud of the NBA for how they’ve handled the pandemic by consistently putting fans and players first. He also shared his sadness at the death of Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother, Jackie, and noted that Towns is going through something that many people around the country and world are also experiencing: the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one.
Brown closed by saying that he hopes the social isolation actually unifies the country and helps it heal. But he wants people to use this time to think about the problems that COVID-19 has exposed, and how we can all fix them together.
Ponder the suffrage from other epidemics that have plagued this nation and our planet. Social inequality, gender inequality, inequality in education, poverty, lack of resources, cultural biases, and other various societal imbalances that have yet to be vaccinated. Let’s use this time to look for solution based answers and cooperative efforts for those problems.
It’s Game 7 and how we perform down the stretch is going to determine our outcome. Let’s lean in and get this done together as a team.
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