Like a dystopian futuristic movie, the arc of COVID-19 and dismantling racism is currently in the “rising action” phase. November’s election will be a flashpoint in history. Does America have the courage to implement its U.S. Declaration of Independence obligation “that all men are created equal”? Going back to “normal” is not an option.
According to NPR: “The first U.S. death known to be from COVID-19 occurred on Feb. 6 — nearly three weeks before deaths in Washington state that had been believed to be the country’s first from the coronavirus, according to officials in Santa Clara County, Calif. The person died at home and at a time when testing in the U.S. was tightly limited not only by capacity but by federal criteria.”
Artworks continue to highlight consequential historical events! WARNING WORSE BEFORE BETTER description: My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception. The Covid-19 pandemic has met its match with America’s original sin: racism! The president whitewashes history with racist “some very fine people on both side” rhetoric. A custom safety sign has been repurposed with the words WARNING WORSE BEFORE BETTER. Executive power weaponizes privilege and power to punish perceived enemies. From the deadly “plausible deniability” pandemic mitigation to defending the confederacy, hope exists with each vote.
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases head, testified to Congress about the COVID-19 response. From CNN: “Institutional racism in the United States contributes to the disproportional impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Black community, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Tuesday.”
What will our world look like in six months? COVID-19 and racism won’t magically disappear. My prediction is that pandemic and economic crisis will deepen. The president will decry election results as “fake” as a desperate power play. It’s going to get worse before better. Each vote is an opportunity to make amends and eliminate perpetuating trauma.