What just happened?

I keep asking myself “What?” every other day because words honestly fail me when I think about the state of the world 🌎. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, #BlackLivesMatter is a global movement and wearing masks 😷 has become semi-mandatory. Am I surprised? No. Am I shocked? YES!

To live today means to embrace this moment—nothing else.

A few years ago I protested for equality and against police brutality in NYC. It was 2014 and nationally a new height of racial awareness was brewing. From my perspective we seemed headed into great change in support of social justice. World leaders were calling for change too. But nothing happened—or if it did I didn’t notice it. 2020 proved me right and the face of discrimination made its grand entrance again. But this time I think things will change because enough is enough. As a Hispanic woman who’s not only watched African Americans be treated overtly differently than me, I stand in making our collective futures right. Being “brown” has its nuances but I cannot say that’s it the same as being “black.” African Americans walk a completely different racial journey than Hispanics and I strongly feel that unless POC keep ourselves accountable in advocating equality across all ethnicities, we will not see the cycle of hate disappear.

As for COVID19, well, where do I start? I’m a Cancer survivor, deemed high risk for contraction, and have felt absolute stress in navigating its existence. I followed quarantine for months—to a tee. And now that Texas, my home state is open, I’m back to a new normal that feels strange. I’m struggling with being around people but I’m getting over it. Most likely washing my hands hundreds of time a day but overall, living! I don’t want to live in fear nor do I want to be an asymptotic carrier that doesn’t take caution. Balancing my need for life and death is a journey I’ve walked before. Except this time, it involves my community at large so my guard is up! I’m resolved to make each day matter or else I’ll go insane.

Last but not least the mask 😷 factor. I’ve actually sewn 🧵 a lot of masks and enjoyed being of service to those in need. Do I personally like wearing them? Not so much. They can be claustrophobic and itchy. But I think the physical barrier they provide actually helps in preventing communal transmission. I don’t believe they ultimately stop a virus 🦠 from spreading. That would be incredible! Hospitals have used them for centuries so why not the public until we find a better solution? It’s not about infringement of rights in being told to wear a mask by a restaurant or shop owner. It’s simply about protecting one another and sometimes that means you must bend a little too.

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