COVID-19 Call and Response
(with Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
April 7, 2020
Everyone has the rights to a standard of living
Before this and now, in the pandemic
adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family,
I’ve been ending all my communications with “stay well”
a wish, a prayer
The lines of cars extend for miles for pick up from the food shelves.
Many of the women I know are sewing cotton face masks.
The first of the month came and with it the call for a moratorium on evictions.
In my neighborhood, graffiti tags reading “Rent Strikes Now” and “They can’t evict us all”
mark walls and lamp posts. More and more tents are filling green spaces.
and medical care
Ambulances race at all hours.
There aren’t enough respirators, ventilators,
beds, morgues, Tylenol doses, gloves, healthcare workers.
and necessary social services,
We practice social distancing.
and the right to security
Gun shops are considered essential and are overrun with customers.
in the event of unemployment,
Already those without work number more than in the Great Depression.
Call centers are overwhelmed trying to process claims.
There’s a tickle in my throat.
My nose runs in the mornings.
But no fever. No cough. No cough.
Those with pre-existing conditions
of diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, COPD are
disproportionately African American
The majority of deaths are male and people over the age of seventy.
My parents are over seventy.
or other lack of livelihood
So many women are home and without an income,
how will she or her children …
in circumstances beyond his control.
What were we doing before? I can’t remember.
to render my self
to the identity
in spite of me
a relinquishment of power
who don’t represent me
my lived experience
to make a statement
to be baptized
in the river flow
of human bodies
in this moment
and throughout time
who show up.