We’re All in This Together

This article was originally published on June 10, 2020.

A few days ago, people have turned to protests and riots to express their beliefs about racism. Similar to the coronavirus, the hatred towards inequality has become widespread, and people have been coming together through the internet, protests, and more to fight the possibility of more lives being lost based on the color of their skin. George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, was a victim of such skin-color based hatred and police brutality. Former police officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes and 46 seconds, causing him to not be able to breathe. This incident sparked widespread anger. But what do we take away from this? The answer lies within the following quote:

“You cannot be happy when your ecosystem is not happy, healthy, wise, or prosperous. Corona [COVID-19] is teaching humanity the same lesson.” – Aman Bhatia

When news of the novel virus first broke out, the world was aghast. The manifestation of the virus was so quick that no one had an opportunity to take the necessary precautions to provide for their families sufficiently without going out. This led to many people trying to buy necessities and the shortage of items such as toilet paper and sanitizer. A month or so after the virus has been announced across the world like a pandemic, families were still afraid of leaving their houses for the sake of staying healthy, while some, whose livelihoods are running small businesses are desperate to find a way to provide for their families.

Regardless of the situation, life hasn’t returned to normal for anyone. This is because at the end of the day every person is the same species — human. Our ecosystem and the people we don’t know and know are all relying on the same thing to move forward during these difficult times, and that is hope. We all hope to be able to stay outside for hours at end, breathing in fresh air without a mask while simultaneously socializing with our friends and family. As of now, we are not able to do that, but we still hope we can in the future.

The protests and riots as an effect of George Floyd’s death spread at the pace of a virus. We all think that the effect others have on your life is the bare minimum. But is that true? When the virus was in China, countries around the world thought that it wouldn’t affect its citizens. Citizens from other countries excluding China thought that continuing life, as usual, is the best way to go because in their eyes the virus would never step foot in other countries. However, today, we are all affected — in one way or another. Similarly, the ongoing protests will affect every resident living in the United States. This is because many residents in the US thought that after years of struggle, every human, regardless of race or gender, will have the same rights. Yet sadly, it didn’t even take ten minutes for an African-American man to be stripped of them.

Even today, there is a lack of acceptance in the US, whether it be accepting one’s personality to the color of one’s skin. These acceptance gaps will have to be solved because we are all human and deserve the same amount of acceptance as others. It isn’t possible to live happy and carefree when others are struggling for necessities such as toilet paper and when others are being put in harm’s way because of their skin color. So what do we do? Well, we make the world better so we all can be joyful.