How COVID-19 & the Black Lives Matter Movement Have Impacted Me

Hello, my wonderful blog friends!

It's been awhile—since March 14, if we're being exact. Just three days after I wrote my last blog post, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the United States, and I went MIA from both the blog and social media for a few weeks—months, if we're talking about the blog.

I began working remotely on March 17, as my organization closed its doors to the public in an effort to do our part in combatting & controlling the coronavirus pandemic. My husband, Tyler, a Type I diabetic who also has asthma, was working six-day weeks at Kroger in his management position. Deemed an essential worker despite his pre-existing health conditions making him a high-risk individual in terms of contracting COVID-19, I was riddled with anxiety every second he was at work. Once home, I would all but make him bathe in hand sanitizer while I disinfected every light switch and doorknob as if our lives depended on it—eerily enough, they kind of did.

After two or three weeks of him continuing to work as an essential employee on the very frontlines of the pandemic ( for a company that openly tries to neglect & take advantage of its employees during said global pandemic, then gaslights them when the employees call out the company—that's a whole other post about how Kroger is a horribly toxic company to work for ), we decided enough was enough. Tyler quit his job at Kroger, and we moved from my beloved college town of Bloomington, IN to a suburb of Indianapolis, IN.

By April 17, in the midst of the coronavirus, we were relocated to the Indy-area. I've continued to work remotely for the Y, and Tyler started an administration job at Skjodt-Barrett, a factory that makes baby food for a variety of household brands.

Then May came around.

Just when states across the country began re-opening in the wake of the coronavirus, devastating acts of racial injustice demanded our attention: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were all brutally & unjustifiably murdered by racist police & white supremacist civilians. Although Ahmaud's & Breonna's deaths took place in February & March, their stories weren't truly digested by the public until George Floyd's murder on May 25.

In the days following George's murder, the Black Lives Matter ( BLM ) movement finally gained the significant traction and attention it deserves from non-Black folks, I've begun to more fully grasp the harsh reality that Black people face every day; I've begun to truly open my ears and listen, albeit much later than I should have. Racism is alive & well in America, and it has been since the first Indigenous peoples were slaughtered by European immigrants who sought the newly discovered North American land, and the first African peoples were kidnapped from their tribes to be subjugated and horrifically abused by White people for centuries—to this very day, only in a more covert manner.

The heartbreaking stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery seem to have persuaded an unprecedented amount of White people to face the fact that racism, sneaky and manipulative as it may be, is still extremely prevalent. We're finally realizing the scope of which we've turned our blind eyes and buried our heads in the sand for far too many years. We're learning the magnitude to which our white silence has harmed the Black community while we ignorantly questioned how racism could still exist in 2020 and claimed that "All Lives Matter."

Since George Floyd's murder, I've spent my days on social media pouring over protests and unprovoked police brutality and riots and the shameful, non-existent leadership from our government at every level and anti-racism resources and petitions to sign and where to educate myself about Black American history and how to help bring justice to the far too many Black names we know from their unjustified & unresolved murders and how to keep the conversation going from here on out. It's devastating & overwhelming, and it's a mere fraction of what Black people feel every single day. This is their entire life, and it has been for centuries.

So here we are now, ( hopefully ) awake & aware of our necessity to listen, learn, and leverage long-lasting, meaningful systematic & societal change. I intend to start writing regularly again, and I want to initiate my return by using my white privilege, my white voice, to help bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement by uplifting Black voices and sharing what I've learned & will continue to learn, as well as how / where I learned it.

I hope you're paying attention to current events in our country ( and across the globe; this goes beyond just the US ), and I hope you're using your voice to make it known that racism has been tolerated for far too long, as has blatant, unpunished police brutality. I will not stand for the unrelenting abuse the Black community has suffered any longer because Black Lives Matter, and the world is 401 years late to treating them like they do.

Photo by Christine T. Nguyen

For more information on how you can bring justice to George, Breonna, Ahmaud, and several other brutalized Black people, visit this website. You'll find petitions to sign, numbers to call, emails and addresses to write to, organizations to donate to, protest information, resources to help educate yourself, and more.

If you want to be in-the-know now about what's happening in the US at protests and within the BLM movement, as well as how you can unlearn racism, support the Black community, and become a strong ally, check out my Instagram: @_alyssakdavis. I've been sharing content directly from Black creators / organizations / people on my stories as far as the discussion around racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and the BLM movement goes, as well as news / current events / daily updates.

Posts you can look out for soon: amazing Black creators / celebrities / activists / people to follow on Instagram, resources I've used to educate myself about Black American history and racism in America, and why we need to actively support more Black-owned brands.

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