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A Change Has To Come – In More Ways Than One

By Raven Madison, Opinion

From the increasing deaths by the COVID-19 virus to the continuous deaths of people killed over racism, 2020 is turning out to be a year that will be one for the books — history books that is.

What a way to bring in the new decade, right?

I will be the first to say that although the pandemic has not negatively affected me, I am fully aware of how it is affecting some of my friends, my race, and the world as we know it. Not having to leave the comfort of my home to travel to work or classes has given me a new perspective on the people who are out daily risking their lives so that they can make a living to provide for themselves and their family.

One of the biggest problems that we as a nation are facing compared to other countries who are also battling COVID-19 is that political lenses have blinded a lot of U.S. citizens. We make the simple action of wearing a mask equate to our rights being infringed when that is just not the case. It utterly amazes me how some find it more important to fight for their “rights” when the result is possibly not being alive to even carry them out. It also does not help to have a president who actively disregards advice from health professionals and hosts campaign rallies in the thick of the pandemic.

On top of this battle, the odds are unfairly weighed against us within the black community who are being targeted at an alarming rate both through the virus and from discrimination. I have personally been told the stories from friends who have fought (and thankfully) beat COVID-19 as well as how members of their family escaped the virus.

On average, the black population has a higher risks of underlying health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Standing alone, black people are already more susceptible to die from these illnesses and pairing that alongside living in an impoverished community with the overbearing costs of healthcare is a terrible formula to bring up against the COVID-19 virus. Just today, a friend who works in healthcare told me about her friend who is currently experiencing symptoms of the virus but is not able to get tested because of the diagnostic test costs.

As a country, we must do better.

Isn’t it already enough to have to defend our lives from those who want to take it away because of the color of our skin? Why should we have to fight the government just to receive affordable healthcare as well?

It is frustrating to watch the world fall to its knees and feel that there is almost no way to avoid it. A change has got to come, and in more ways than just one.

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham