Let's go back to May. Something groundbreaking had just happened to my family in the middle of a pandemic While the world is shut down, I found my mom's birth mom, who she's never met before. And so, that just blew the doors wide open, right? At the same time my mom is needing - getting to talk to her mom on the phone, she is getting tested for COVID-19.
We come from big family, right. It was a very hard time because our house isn't that big in San Francisco. As you can imagine, there were like three rooms to seven people in the household, but we're talking every hour of the day, we took this serious. My step dad though was an essential worker- he's a sanitation worker. And he was the only one stepping out.
My stepdad started showing symptoms. So he had the fever. He had a cough. And immediately we knew something was up. This was one of the results took forever to come back. His test results came back positive and it was just a giant shift in my household. Immediately, we had my stepdad self isolate in his room and we took my mom out of there and we put her in the living room. And then my siblings are like self quarantined in our rooms as well, because we didn't know who had what. We just knew that my stepdad had tested positive. My tests had came back negative, which was a relief, right? But my sisters' took a week for them to come back, and when they came back, they were positive.
And I had to retake a test because I had lost my sense of taste and smell a couple of days following my negative test. The reason why I knew I lost my sense of taste and smell was because I ordered a burrito - because we're not allowed to leave the house at all - and I bit into my burrito and it was just a bunch of textures that I was feeling on my tongue and no flavor.
It was one of the most heartbreaking 2020 moments. Like this is what life is. You have this beautiful burrito and you can't taste it. And at the same time, you know, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have gotten killed by the police. And I'm like consuming this media that shows their brutal death while having COVID, while also experiencing a layoff, and trying to show up for my black brothers, sisters, and siblings, all within my house, having a positive COVID test. And it got bad. It got bad. I got to the point where they were monitoring my lungs to see if I should go into the hospital. I had a very, very 2020 experience.
Let's look at, who's getting COVID right? Like, it's black and brown folk. And then let's see who's getting laid off a friend places it's black and brown folk. Let's see who is returning to school now that it's safer to be in school. And if all these measures it's white kids. Believe that the pandemic is a horrible thing and not believe that black and Brown people are being fucked over through the course throughout history but especially now. Those two truths go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other.
I've been thinking about whether or not if at this moment I would take a vaccine or not. And ultimately I know I'm going to take a vaccine. The question is when, and while I'm sure that everything was done to make sure that this vaccine came out right - the best that could be - I need to look into it more and see, like, what are the companies behind the vaccine?
What have they been doing in the world? And I know that sounds selfish of like, but there's this thing that might say to the world and it's like, yeah, but if they fucked over one group of people, what stops them from fucking me over? I need to see who takes it, what happens, who has taken it. Like I'm more into taking the Dolly Parton vaccine because Dolly Parton backed that vaccine rather than whatever the FDA is telling me.
I will not be surprised if black and brown people are left behind on this whole thing. Is it a different story than brown and black people refusing to take a vaccine? Yes. And I don't want anyone, anyone in the world, shaming brown and black people for not taking the vaccine, especially when they have been experimented so many times and fucked over by medical professionals throughout history, even up to date. Just don't shame, a black or brown person for not wanting to take the vaccine.
I feel like it's a global conversation on consent, right? This is between you and the vaccine. You're going to decide what you put in your body, when you put in your body, why you're putting it in your body. And that's no one else's business. And if we do consent to the Dolly Parton vaccine - sorry, have put that in there 'cause that's the only one I trust - let us live our life. And I think a lot of people are willing to settle for things that let them sleep at night. And I'm worried that in the future, once the vaccine exists and most of us have it in our bodies that a lot of people will just close their eyes and pretend that the inequities that people experienced throughout this time didn't happen or that "Well, we have a vaccine now, it's okay. They're not gonna worry about all the black and brown people that died. They're not gonna worry about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. They're not going to worry about all the people who lost their jobs. They're not going to worry about their neighbors, probably, not getting food. They're not going to worry about the unemployment insurance I'm running low and not giving out relief to the American people that need it. Right. Like we put out one crisis, but the millions of other crisis are still going on. And, that's, that's just crazy.