Almost two and a half months ago, this article on racism being a public health crisis was published on Boston.com. The journalist Dialynn Dwyer quoted leading experts and hospitals such as the Dean of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the President of Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Last week, I continued the Lunch with Lindsay video series with my friend Paty. She and I met our first year at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Almost two decades later, we reminisced on college, reflected on how we have evolved, and discussed how she approaches diversity and inclusion work during a reckoning with racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.
If I were to describe my life now, I would say I’m on an island. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to be cautious when I wander in public. I look outside of my windows, and I see people walking on the streets and riding in cars. On any given day, people are using different levels of caution with masks, social distancing, exercising, shopping, and hanging out at the beach.
In case you are wondering where I have been for the past two weeks, I have been active. I might not have been active on this website, but I have been active. Like many of you, I have been dedicating my time to my day job, exercise that is never frequent enough, napping, and honestly doing “nothing.”
Six days ago, I went on a long walk to the beach and green space in my community. Consistently, I was frustrated by the people not wearing a mask or social distancing when they came near me. I vented my frustrations in an online group for breast cancer survivors and wrote this:
More than a week ago, I created another video titled Lunch with Lindsay: Public Acknowledgment of Juneteenth, US History in Schools, and Screening Practices at Bars. I did not post it on this website right away because 1) I was busy with other things, and 2) I needed time to process the conversation.
As you will hear in the video that I posted above, my friends and I were observing many employers and companies acknowledge Juneteenth for the first time. Companies across industries were figuring out how to properly acknowledge and/or celebrate this holiday in a time where they are determining what it means to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all people, particularly Black people.
On and off since my breast cancer diagnosis, I have not been sleeping well. When I went on leave to focus on my recovery from surgery, I had more time to focus on making sleep and other basic self-care habits a priority.
After my leave ended, I started radiation and returned to work within a day of each other. Again I had to learn new sleeping patterns as my daily schedule had drastically changed within only a couple days.
Then my radiation ended, and I had to readjust my daily work schedule and relearn new sleeping patterns. It is as if my body does not know how much to rest because it does not know what to expect.