Cover Your Bases 6: Feel the darkness

June 28, and getting past how this week sucked

Art is “Tell Me Yours, I’ll Tell You Mine” (2018) by Emma Shield. Photo by @espressobuzz.

This week: A reflection on something personal and reflective. Like COVID-19.  And an exploding pandemic.

It’s been almost 4 months since lockdown started, maybe 6 months since I was so sick in January for a month that my eyeballs hurt in a way I have never before experienced. 

The liars in the White House say they are beating the virus, but what they mean is they do not care, and those who fall ill are on their own.  

At my work, we’re reopening, carefully, but cases are surging around the United States, with California one of the hot spots.  And yet, there are counties where folks are eating in restaurants and going to the gym.  But here in Alameda County, one of the more infectious spots in Northern California, that’s unreal.

In a week with so much bad news, one bright spot was local: The Oakland School Board passed a resolution to defund the public schools’ very own private police force--the only one in Alameda County and just one 23 across California. By  July 17, 2020, they will begin an inclusive, community-driven process that leads to a new District safety plan. 

No matter where you live, this is a worthwhile topic. If you’d like to learn more, read  The George Floyd Resolution,  created by The Black Organizing Project, (led by Jackie Byers, who shared The Breakup Letter: Dear John in CYB issue 3). Then read Ashley MacBride’s extremely informative story in Oaklandside,  How Oakland Unified School District got its own police force, to see a story of persistence and success that after 63 years finally led to positive change.

Andrea Bowers, Church Banners (Adalberto United Methodist Church, Chicago, Member of New Sanctuary Movement), 2007/2008. ROBERT WEDEMEYER/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES

Quick takes: Bad news: The virus is surging

The Atlantic, A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic, by Robinson Meyers and Alexis C. Madrigal. The U.S. has seen more cases in the past week than in any week since the pandemic began.  

“The national surge is driven primarily by potentially disastrous situations in Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Many virus statistics in these states now look like straight lines pointing upward.”

The Harvard Gazette, Pandemic threatens to veer out of control in the U.S, public health experts say, by Alvin Powell, “Bloom said the difference between the U.S. and nations where the pandemic appears to be controlled is that those countries had uniform national policies and didn’t lift lockdowns until case numbers were very low.”

Houston Chronicle, Coronavirus expert Peter Hotez, ‘We have to intervene now. By Lisa Gray.  “Later we can be more surgical about how we do this. But if we let it go another week, that's just going to be more patients coming into our ICU. And remember how this works: The number of deaths lags behind the number of cases. First comes the number of cases, then the number of hospitalizations. The rise in deaths comes last, but the rise in deaths will surely come.”

The Week, The Steep Price of Denial by William Falk, "Just because it starts with young people, doesn't mean it will stay with young people."

Ferrett Steinmetz, Polyamory during the Pandemic: It’s getting rougher, “Right now, I have a wife who is both a heart patient and technically a senior citizen (when did 61 not seem particularly old?), so getting COVID has a high chance of killing her – we can’t risk it. We are those old fogeys still wearing masks everywhere and wiping handed to us by outsiders with Clorox wipes, even though everyone’s mostly stopped that the way we were all really into Pokemon Go for a couple of months and then let it go.”

 You made it this far, so here is one more thing:

Lockdown by Anderson.Paak - Lockdown

Lyrics:

You shoulda been downtown, the people are rising

We thought it was a lock down, they opened up fire

Dem bullets was flying

They said it was a lockdown, got damn lie

Oh my! Time heals all, but you outta time now

Judge gotta watch us from the clock tower

Little tear gas cleared the whole place out 

I’ll be back with the hazmat for the next round 

We was tryna protest and the fires broke out

Lookout for the secret agents they be planted in the crowd 

Said it’s civil unrest 

But you sleep so sound

like you don’t hear the screams when we catchin beat downs

Stayin quiet when they killin niggas 

But you speak loud when we riot 

got opinions comin from a place of privilege 

Sicker than the covid how they did him on the ground

Speaking of the covid is it still goin around?

Oh why don’t you tell me bout the lootin what’s that really all about?

Cause they throw away black lives like paper towels

Plus unemployment rate what? 40 million now

Killed a man in broad day, might never see a trial

We just wana break chains like slaves in the south

Started in the north end but we ended downtown

Riot cops tried to block, now we got a showdown... down

You shoulda been downtown, the people are rising

We thought it was a lock down, they opened up fire

Dem bullets was flying

Who said it was a lockdown, got damn lie

(Ooh wee)

Lockdown we ain’t gotta stop cause they tell us to

Downtown where I got popped with the rubber bullet

Tre pound, Got it in my name now 

Imma shoot it

Jay Rock:

Turn on your tube dog, look how they do us

Knee on our necks, bullets in backs

Stimulus checks strictly for blacks

History repeating, people scared to eat a chicken

Everybody going vegan, what they put in it?

Look at the world we’re living in

They got us shook in it

You go on your jog, then your color might get you took in it

The man in the mirror can’t look away you gotta look at it

Black lives matter so what it means when they shoot at it?

Generation genocide, what happened to enterprise

Heard the man infiltrated, Black Panthers reenergize

Ain’t nothing to figure out

They trying to kill us out, if I take a kneel, see my fist I’ma kill it now

Just think, bullshit you gotta filter out

Are you really ready for the smoke like a swisher house?

Ready for the revolution who ready to riot?

It won’t be televised, so tell me who ready to die?

If downtown going up, where we at with the shits?

We at the liquor store nigga, bout to get us a fifth

Know they boutta start looting, get the gloves and masks

Watch out for them tanks when they rolling past

Never understand why they do it

someone cut the channel off the news ‘fore I lose it

I ain’t even trippin if you wit it, then we lootin

Help put this Louis in the back of Suzuki

He had to break down so smoothly 

Ain’t gone say it’s not about race but we movin hoe, pow!

Got the tre pound, had to put it in my name now

Wish a nigga play now 

Any given day I’ll be headed to the pulpit

Say a little prayer, matter fact I need two of em

Ooh won’t he do it, won’t he do it

Ooh this ain’t 92 so we into new rules

Niggas got hip, so we don’t loot the projects

Bout to hit rodeo with my little cousin Marcus 

Some one threw a whole brick into Neumann Marcus 

Help me put the whole mannequin in the charger

You shoulda been downtown(down), the people are rising(look around)

We thought it was a lock down(lockdown), they opened up fire (had to get low)

Dem bullets was flying(down, down)

Who said it was a lockdown, got damn lie

(Ooh wee)Lockdown we ain’t gotta stop cause they tell us to

Downtown where I got popped with the rubber bullet

Tre pound, Got it in my name now 

Imma shoot it 

Lockdown we ain’t gotta stop cause they tell us to

Downtown

Thanks for reading #6.  #7 hits next Sunday.  Subscribe if you like it.  There’s an archive with past ones right here.

Best, Susan

susanmernit@gmail.com