Just Take It In

Just take in the following. I’ll write a followup later with my thoughts, but first simply taking in the situation is an essential step. Sometimes we (at least I) am too quick to jump right into proposing solutions because the reality is so painful, morally wrong, etc. But we really have to let ourselves feel these things. (Not wallow; just give due time to fully feeling the impact. There is a difference.) The willingness to let the reality sink in will help us bring about real change.

States Grapple with Eviction Crisis (AP, Sara Cline; published in Daytona Beach News-Journal): “‘We are forced to make decisions between which bills to pay – rent, car or groceries,’ said Bowser, adding that they may have to sleep in their car, stay on friends’ couches or move to another state to crash with distant relatives. ‘We don’t know if we will have a home next year.'” … “About one-third of U.S. households say they’re behind on rent or mortgage payments and likely to face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months, according to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

How the United States failed to meet the deadly coronavirus pandemic challenge
(USA Today — Gus Garcia-Roberts, Erin Mansfield and Caroline Anders; published in Daytona Beach News-Journal): “Even though one of the symptoms of COVID-19 was abdominal pain, the hospital had apparently ruled it out without a test. They had him share a room with a fellow patient. ‘No, they didn’t test him,’ Gina told Sevil when he asked about their father’s treatment. “They don’t think it’s that.” … “There was a window of opportunity in early spring— before Americans were dug intractably into separate trenches, before wearing a face mask had somehow become a defining political issue, and militia members were caught allegedly plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor over lockdown orders — when the country could have unified in order to beat back the virus.” … “Boyd had lost six relatives or close friends to the virus, including his brother. He saw the growing apathy toward the virus in Alabama as a result of policy-makers learning that Black people were most vulnerable. … The hospital where Boyd’s brother died had a policy allowing loved ones access if they were near death, and he described sharing a waiting area with those who were about to say goodbye to a patient. ‘It was an ugly sight, and I saw all Black people,’ Boyd said.” … The section on the meatpacking industry, and how workers have been treated as subhuman revenue units, commanded to get back to their stations even as they were experiencing symptoms (“I’ve sent home 38 people already today; you can’t leave”) is similarly horrific.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has seen his wealth grow by SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT this year, and his company has shown record sales and profits, as the pandemic has boosted demand for shipping. Meanwhile, many fulltime Amazon warehouse employees struggle to pay the bills. Amazon is opening new warehouses in the United States at the rate of about one a day. And, it’s exerting downward pressure on warehouse wages. “… it’s transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work that’s just a notch above being a burger flipper or convenience store cashier. Union workers who make comfortable livelihoods driving delivery trucks and packing boxes consider Amazon an existential threat.”

Just take it in, just let it sink in even if you already knew most or all of this stuff — even if you yourself are among those who are actually experiencing this stuff first-hand. Take in what it says about our society.