public outreach

Stop Making Them Leave Home

For the safety of the greater populace, people have been quarantined to their homes–at least, those who can afford to be quarantined. Those who cannot have been forced to serve, unable to avoid public transit or practice safe social distancing, or even take a reasonable amount of time away from work. Yes, there have been many donations and “miracles” of people getting help at the last minute, but mostly the working class has been forced to jump through hoops and hack through mountains of red tape just to consider whether they would be able to stay alive. One daunting image is the line of cars waiting for food pantry donations. As with voting, the message has been made clear: come to us if you want to live.

Fortunately, humanity has prevailed and not everyone expects the distressed to leave the relative safety of their homes to attain vital resources. Teachers have been reaching out to their students to show them that they are missed. Restaurant workers have been delivering food, including donated food for essential workers. Celebrities themselves have delivered and overseen the delivery of PPE. Of course, these contributions come in addition to the already monumental efforts of everyday human beings who are doing their level best to keep hope alive. These efforts have also made their messages clear: you are human where you are, and we can come to you.

There are many reasons why resources should not only be in specific locations that multiple people access during a pandemic. First and foremost, focused visits lead to making those locations petri dishes of corona. Amazon itself avoided providing masks to its employees until the public shame was too much for it to bear. Secondly, food pantries are usually in places where wealthy people can avoid looking at the working poor; however, being wealthy, they have no idea where poor people live. Finally, people in distress do not necessarily have the resources to commute to a specific location; for example, how stressful would it be to have to choose between getting food from a pantry or getting to one’s essential yet low-wage job? Driving should not increase just because gas is “inexpensive” and only costs the invasion of countries hundreds of miles away and the water quality on reservations.

The food above was found next to a bus stop. All of the containers were closed, which means that they could be cleaned and the food could be used. There is no clue who dropped this off, but the food will definitely be consumed. Someone had enough foresight to consider that people might need food who may not have access to several locations. That person will not receive a tax break, a parade, or coverage–other than on this blog. The bus stop is where people are, and it is easier for those in the surrounding areas to walk outside than it is commute. It is time for those with resources to bring aid to where the people are, rather than where it is most convenient.

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