For the record I have not profited from the Healthcare Industry, nor have I taken any donations.
During this new COVID-19 pandemic we have seen how scattershot the response has been from the Federal Level. That left states and counties to do their best to address the pandemic on a local level. This is one instance where I do not believe in a great deal of local control. In order to smash this
pandemic we all across the world must practice the same preventative measures in a waiting game for a vaccine to be produced.
Maybe the following is controversial to some, but frankly, I am about speaking my truth no matter who disagrees with me. In my long life, I have seen this world come together and totally eradicate Polio from Africa. Public-Private partnerships worked tirelessly to vaccinate all of the children and adults. The results are astounding and show that there is a possibility for global coordination for a good cause. Fewer children begging for food, and being ignored. Less stigma. Fewer restrictions on what people can do with their lives. This was one of the greatest endeavors of the 20th Century. That being said, I am looking forward to a vaccine whose purpose will be to inoculate everyone. If one person does not get the vaccine, knowing that it is safe, they put all future generations at severe risk. I do not believe that is a tolerable thing. I know there are some “deep state” people out there who so mistrust the government that they refuse even regular vaccines. I admit we have had some problems with a few people over the century that we have been vaccinating populations. But the overall studies show that success is almost universal. I pray everyone thinks deeply about their responsibility to others and to future generations and will comply with the vaccine once it has been vetted and approved through strict safety tests.
Equity in the response to COVID-19 is problematic. We do not have full compliance for many reasons. There is a cultural distrust of the government and “Big Brother” and there is a lack of outreach into communities of color and blacks, as well as LBGTQ communities, and I suspect some of it may be related to the internet deserts which exist scattered across our city and our country. It is difficult to outreach this day, what with social distancing and protocols in place, unless we use non-touch methodology.
Our city mimicked Los Angeles in its COVID-19 response, so the LBGTQ community was not counted as a separate category until only a few weeks ago. So it is clear that even though we need a national strategy each municipality must craft its response according to the population they represent.
To fix this inequity, and to fix education and economic inequities we should immediately determine where the deserts of connectivity are and address those areas with stronger “hot spots” or towers to override the dampening effects of the areas. I suggest this not only for the greater Long Beach area but across the nation where there are huge swaths of land with no internet except for Hughes Net. We are like in a similar position the turn of the century was in with the expansion of rail connectivity. Those communities which remained unconnected withered and died. I am hopeful that we will all come up to the plate on this issue to assure access to every person in the nation.
In this very strange new world, we will need to address the same causative inequities in Education and Nutrition. As we are directed to stay indoors, not travel, not get together in groups, etc. our entire system of barter and trade, farmer’s markets, grocery store shopping, even the fast-food industry is being reshaped or upended. Social distancing creates more than one problem. Among those problems is the inadequate delivery of foodstuffs to many communities. It also creates inadequate access to medical services, informational services, educational services, and the list goes on.
We are certainly now the internet generation.
If we are to spread our information and services evenly across the board we must rethink our internet desert problems and our delivery problems. Living in a City we have not noticed the connectivity problem but outlying areas as the Navajo Nation has seen the rapid decline in their elder populations due to lack of medical care, lack of resources, and isolation. One would have thought that their isolation would have brought them some sort of immunity to COVID-19, but the exact opposite is showing to be the case. No one is immune to this threat.
In contrast to most pundits, I believe we need a stronger, wider breadth and more inclusive transportation network of cars, trucks, and vans to get food, clothing, medicines, educational materials, and a whole range of goods and services which we have previously taken for granted. The organization of this transportation model will make previous decisions on the car obsolete. Using Mass transit right now is a death sentence and is counter to every guideline we have been given. I believe in the future we must bring this new understanding not only to transportation but housing and open space. Densified housing will not be a great benefit, is contagion is spread by close contact. I believe Carlos Ovalle’s more LEED-certified housing designs more appropriately address housing in a safe and manageable design style.
We are in hard times, no doubt. Yet it gives us an opportunity to really examine our “disconnect” and provide access in all areas of life to all communities across the board. In the end, this will make us a
more united, healthier, and more educated Country. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Democracy is dependent upon an educated electorate.”.