by Freeda Cathcart, leader, Indivisible Virginia
Virginians need to step up, Indivisible, to defeat the coronavirus. While there is still so much we don’t know, there are emerging facts and science to guide us along the path to victory. We can look to the other states and countries who are successfully defeating the virus as well as those who are losing the battle for guidance.
New York has done an amazing job fighting the coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave credit to New Yorkers when he said:
“The textbook says politicians lead. No, sometimes the people lead and the politicians follow. Follow the American people. They will do the right thing. There is still a right thing. Maybe ‘right thing’ is a New York expression.”
Cuomo’s daily press briefings start with the facts and he’s honest when new knowledge changes what we thought we knew about the virus. People used to think children were safe until they weren’t. People used to think once you recovered from the virus then you would be immune until some haven’t been. There was one strain of the coronavirus until there were two and we don’t know how it might transform next. Not knowing can be scary, but there’s something comforting and reassuring about sharing what is known in an honest and straightforward manner.
New York has done an enormous amount of testing. The tests have revealed startling results. The US news article Police, Health Care, Corrections Workers Have Lower Rate of Coronavirus Infection Than General New York Population reported:
“14.2% of downstate transit workers, 12.2% of downstate health care workers and 10.5% of the New York Police Department were infected with COVID-19 based on antibody tests, which test a person’s blood for COVID-19 antibodies, indicating that a person was infected and has since recovered…. Officials reported last month that 19.9% of people in New York City may have had the coronavirus and 12.3% of the general New York state population had it, based on antibody tests.”
How can that be? Healthcare and essential workers have more exposure to the virus than the general public. They also wear masks and are more careful not to take the virus home with them. Other countries that use masks and social distancing are on the path to defeat the virus too.
Cuomo was so impressed with the results that he created a contest for New Yorkers to make videos promoting the need for people to wear masks. Rachel Maddow praised the videos by saying they “really are NY”.
It’s concerning to see how many Virginians aren’t wearing masks in public including our governor. The coronavirus doesn’t care what political party people belong to or if they vote or if they’re religious or an atheist. The coronavirus is just looking for the next host to keep alive. Preventing the spread is the only way for us to survive.
Virginians aren’t New Yorkers. We are unique and don’t like being told what to do, but we’ll fight like hell to protect our families and community. Virginia is for lovers and there are over 200 LOVEworks sculptures all over our Commonwealth.
Indivisible Virginia has launched a “#WhoDoYouLove, #Virginia?” campaign asking people to take their picture wearing a mask by a LOVEworks sculpture and post it on social media letting people know who they love and why they’re wearing a mask.
I posted this picture on Facebook of my husband and I wearing our masks at the Roanoke LOVEworks sculpture on Memorial Day. What I didn’t include in the post is my husband, parents and one of my children are at high risk and could be severely harmed or die if they are infected with the coronavirus. My husband and child are essential workers.
Fighting, shaming and blaming people not wearing masks only seems to result in making them more determined to not wear one. Those people probably have high risk people in their lives that they love too. While they might not wear a mask for me and you, they might wear a mask for their loved ones.
Please join the “#WhoDoYouLove, #Virginia?” campaign and send your posts to the Indivisible Virginia Facebook page. Let us know if you can help compile them into a video. Here’s hoping that #LOVEworks!