This year has been unlike anything most of us have had to witness before. We have watched as a virus has rampaged across the world, infecting millions and leaving so many dead. The last epidemic that has touched us to this degree would be the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. As a comparison, AIDS has killed 700,000 Americans since its discovery in the 1980s. Covid has killed 334,000 people since January of this year. Each of us has felt the impact of this virus, whether through contracting it, knowing those that have, or just the mandates that have been passed down as a means of slowing the spread.
When I started this blog, over two years ago, I did so with the point of view to talk about the LGBTQ community here in the Cleveland area. So, it only seems appropriate that upon this time of reflection that I share a store I read recently.
As I stated, Covid has touched each and every one of us. There are studies that show that its impact on minority groups are more problematic. In Willowick, Ohio, the east side of Cleveland, gay couple Christopher and Jeremy Strong have felt the full force of this pandemic.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic. Christopher had just finished his master’s degree and landed a job. Then Covid hit and the company he worked for downsized and he was forced to look for other work. He started a job as an Assistant Manager at a local fast food restaurant and a few other part time jobs, just to make ends meet.
In March of this year, Jeremy was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and underwent lung surgery. As would be expected, medical bills started piling up and there was little that could be done to try to stay caught up.
That is rough enough for anyone to have to deal with, adding to it the shock of finding out their place of residence was not going to be offered to them to continue renting, due to the death of the landlord. This, for most people, would be the straw that would break the camel’s back. With this news they were left with the choices of either buying the house or trying to find a new place to live, while dealing with all of the limitations that have come with the pandemic.
The place where Christopher works has started a GoFundMe page to assist. The goal is to raise enough money so that Christopher can work on buying the house so that Jeremy has some place that is comfortable and familiar to live, while battling leukemia. At present, they have raised $3400 of the $4000 goal for assistance. Any of us, that have been sick, can relate to how it feels to be in some place that we know, feel comfortable, in, and feels safe, while we recuperate.
The pandemic is bad enough but we are finally coming out of a four year long battle where the government seems bent on taking away the rights of each and every person in our country. We have had a president that has convinced millions that he is actually trying to help them, in some way, while at the same time taking away rights that were granted to our LGBTQ community. Sure there are plenty of people that will say this simply isnt the case. The HRC has a couple great articles that shows the damage this administration has done to just out community and they are worth checking out. First is The Real List of Trump’s “Unprecedented Steps” for the LGBTQ Community, that lists out all things that have affected us during his administration. The second is Trump’s Timeline of Hate,
These were only part of the campaign Trump has been on to subjugate the minority population of our country. It has caused many people to unite to remove this very dangerous threat from office. Never, in recent history, has so many people come together to vote to remove a president like this past election. This presidency has caused groups to unite in a way that has not been seen since the Equal RIghts Movement.
Our future is ahead of us and the one thing that we need to learn is that this fight is far from over. The ground we have lost in four years needs to be retaken and we cant simply stop there. As citizens of this great country, we have to unite to show the government that we will not tolerate future events, like we have had to endure. Our differences need to be appreciated by all of us. Our strengths need to be combined to lift us above our weaknesses. We need to fight so that the future generations dont have to relive events like these again. It is time for us to come together as citizens of the world to help those that governments think are not worth the effort. To fight for our very rights and to create a future we want for those generations to come.
As 2020 closes and we look forward, what things do you want to see left for history to recount and what things do you consider worth fighting for? What ways can you work to create the change you feel this world needs? How can you change the views you have to better help those around us?I wish you all a better year than the one we are coming out of, may the blessings you look for come to you as we move forward into this new year. Let us overcome what has transpired and learn the lessons that are important.