Sueitko Zamorano-Chavez, Austin, Texas, March 23, 2020
COVID19 affects the world
Memes go viral, faster than the sickness.
Speaking to anxiety that stems from quarantine and terror.
Like we’ve never experienced anything similar,
Forgetting people suffering systematic isolation.
Prisoners in solitary confinement. Immigrants in detainment camps.
Lack of medical and social resources for weeks at a time.
Disease spreading. People panic. Shortage of needs.
Like we won’t get through this,
Forgetting community traumas of indigenous people.
Conquistadores tried to erase our communities.
Robbing us of food and goods. Spreading illness of the body,
Trying to taint our spirits.
But we survived, stronger than before.
Our medical system unprepared for pandemic.
Like politicians haven’t left thousands vulnerable.
Unaffordable healthcare. Unrealistic minimum wages.
Forgetting those who drudge long hours.
Working fields. Sanitizing streets.
Constructing cities. Cleaning buildings.
Waiting tables. Bagging groceries.
Spring Breakers inconsiderately risking others’ lives in social gatherings.
Jokes of make-shift home offices, whining over inconveniences.
Forgetting low-income wagers lack that luxury,
Overflow of job insecurity.
Fear of losing funds that feed and shelter families.
Overwhelming lack of child and elderly care.
Taking for granted healthcare workers working ‘round the clock
Keeping us comfortable, healthy, alive.
Kids in safe homes delighted for extended vacation,
Other students lack food and love,
Only available with schools in session.
Yet through the abundant suffering
We’re somehow able to find peace.
Through online support and generosity from strangers and neighbors,
Solidarity and hope found in community.
Through homies and comadres making skype dates and impromptu video chats,
Love and kindness found in friendship.
Through ‘ama’s and abuela’s weekly check-ins increasing on the daily
Tranquility and safety found in family.
Peace in knowing when the world’s on fire
And fear spreads destruction faster than tornados,
You find your people. Realizing you’re not alone.
You’re loved. You matter.