Updated: Oct 16, 2020
As this year comes to a close, one of the most pressing questions we are facing is "When will America open back up?" When will we be able to comfortably go about our normal tasks like grocery shopping or even visiting loved ones without concern of spreading or contracting COVID? And if we are truly honest, many states and businesses have already decided to open back up despite the continued rise in new COVID cases.
So I believe the better question is will we be ready?
The mash up of COVID and racial injustice has revealed the inequities and the ineptitude of many of our systems that are said to serve us and meet us at our basic need. So, will we truly be ready based on these revelations? Have some of our most basic systems reassessed how they served marginalized people. To get a deeper understanding of where we are, I decided to sit down with the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) in Lansing, Michigan's capital. I had a candid conversation with Debbie Edokpolo, the Deputy Health Officer of ICHD who's responsible for all public health services in Ingham county. Our conversation spanned lessons learned, the new normal of health for Black & Brown residents, and the critical role of Black mothers.