When the Pandemic began in March, I set up a ‘quarantine’ for my groceries. My visits to the grocery store were quick, with what I’m sure looked like a makeshift hazmat suit. I put hand sanitizer not only on my hands, but on the door handle of my car, the steering wheel, and any other place my hands touched as I entered my car from the parking lot. Upon my return home, the groceries sat in the garage until 48 hours passed before I brought them into the house. I was frustrated.
The frustration was tough, but I knew we were all in it together to take care of each other. Many agree that this feeling of commitment to one another gave a louder voice to the movements against social injustice such as Black Lives Matter that was fueled by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others experiencing racism.
Fast forward to September, I take my time at the market. Sometimes I forget to use hand sanitizer until I’m halfway home. Groceries come in the house without stopping in the garage. Frustration has a new companion, fatigue. I think about food shopping and how my fatigue has led to me letting my guard down.
COVID is still with us. And so are social injustices and systemic racism.
We cannot let our guard down. Fatigue is not acceptable as long as peoples’ lives and livelihoods are at risk – rather, we need to recommit and re-center on what matters most: safety and belonging for all. Next month Children’s Friend continues on our mission to become an anti-racist organization. A guiding group consisting of members of the Children’s Friend community that includes clients, staff, Board, and community members will meet. I look forward to my fatigue finding a new companion – energy – for transforming as an agency as a result of these efforts.
Rebecca Paquette, Chief of Talent