Things I can do today

Content Warning: Fear of potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, like food insecurity and violence, are discussed.

Yesterday, I saw a birth announcement from a friend, a happy occasion if there ever were one, and my immediate reaction upon seeing the loveliest newborn face cuddled on his mother’s breast in a safe, warm hospital bed was, “Aaagh! Get out of there! Save yourself!” like I was watching a horror movie and a nice teenager was headed to the basement to replace some blown fuses.

We aren’t even through the start of this pandemic, and I’m already on edge. I’m worried about people dying, ones I know and ones I don’t. I’m worried about their kids and their parents and their coworkers and everyone who has to go on without them.

I’m worried about people dying of side effects of widespread illness, like food shortages and lack of access to modern necessities like electricity and temperature control. I’m worried that we’ll try to be fair to everyone and ration supplies equally and that will mean people with high needs don’t get enough while others get too much.

I’m worried about people in detention, people in prison, children separated from their parents, parents desperate to protect their children.
I’m worried about the suspension of constitutional rights and the transfer of authority to power-hungry officials. I’m worried that news articles about hoarding and stockpiling weapons will lead to more hoarding and stockpiling weapons. I’m worried that believing our would is mean will make our world meaner.

All that keeps me up at night, and what’s incredibly frustrating is that there’s so little that I can actually do to affect the global outcome. I can’t stop people from buying out the hand sanitizer at the CVS two blocks from me, let alone prevent the DOJ from suspending habeas corpus. Next year, maybe, if I’m elected State Rep, then I might be able to do something, but right now?

Actually, right now, today, I can do three things.

— I can call Charlie Baker and demand that he order us to shelter-in-place. He declared a State of Emergency more than a week ago. We’ve had our first deaths. Many towns have already taken the responsible step of shuttering non-essential businesses. What is he waiting for? 617-725-4005

— I can call my current state rep and my current state senator and express my support for Rep. Liz Miranda’s bill HD.4950 which would provide immediate financial support for residents and small business owners in the Commonwealth.

— I can hunker down, stay out of the way, and sew face masks for doctor’s offices around the South Shore. They won’t be as good as the commercially produced ones, but they may help prevent sick and asymptomatic people from spreading the virus when they visit healthcare settings and, if used with a high quality air filter and a vinyl shield, help protect healthcare professionals in lower risk situations.

That’s what I’ve got for today. What are your ideas for tomorrow?

Photo of me in a homemade mask in a room in my house that has been overtaken by craft supplies for the time being.

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