COVID-19 Rant: Latinx Edition

It hasn’t even been a year since Coronavirus took over the United States and caused a nationwide lockdown. Remember the early days of quarantine when people were trying to find new hobbies and getting used to working from home? Looking back, I consider those the “good days.” Everybody was on the same page regarding the need to stay home as much as possible to keep the numbers of those infected low. We weren’t dealing with Americans who want to feel oppressed with the mask-wearing mandate. 

Photo by Edwin Hooper from Unsplash

Do you also remember the birthday drive-bys? Where all the birthday person had to do was stand outside their house and everybody else would pull up honking their car horns and safely drop off any gifts? I think that probably lasted about 2 months. Because as a Latinx person, I’ve been seeing far too many Latinx households think “small gatherings” are synonymous with birthday parties that don’t look any different than pre-COVID parties.

Chicago opened up its business doors in early June, and it seems like people are excessively using the “helping out the economy” excuse. I keep thinking businesses are still closed, but these streets are bussing every time I’m walking back home from work. I  honestly forget we are in a pandemic because of the way these streets look, completely packed during peak business days. 

Now, with the way Univision is set up, you know, exaggerating news, I would’ve thought they’d scare Latinx families into actually being quarantine professionals. All of my social media timelines are filled daily with people going out to eat, having large gatherings, and no mask-wearing overall. I would’ve thought that these would be the people more likely to stay indoors knowing POC are more at risk to catch the virus. 

What’s the need to have a birthday party with a band playing? What’s the need to invite extended family? What’s the need to make a birthday an event? I thought we were supposed to be sad we can’t celebrate our birthday at the clubs, yet it’s the same thing doing it at home with the same amount of sweaty bodies. Make it make sense. 

Sorry we are closed sign Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

I understand going out every once in a while. But, just deciding to eat out because you feel like it? Knowing that 99% of the time you’re not going to wear a mask when you’re actually in the restaurant? These are the same people who I wish would be heavily tipping their waiters and waitresses. These people have to work regardless of a pandemic. They need to survive. While their job is putting them more at risk with the number of people choosing to eat out to stimulate the economy, I hope they also recognize that tipping more than 20% can make their living easier. 

The amount of deaths due to the virus is what is supposed to be scaring people into reducing social activity. The deaths aren’t in vain. “One time for the one time” for a birthday party of more than 20 people is not what should be killing a parent whose immune system is compromised.

We all miss life pre-corona, there’s no doubt about that. But at least abide by your feelings and not go out due to a pandemic. 

We all joke about how “once this is all over” we are going to be living our best lives, but it’s not okay to get a head start and invite people who should be saying no.

Elbow tap Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

As a person who wants to make sure there’s always an option to do something, it’s not okay to make the friends who choose not to attend an outing feel bad for doing so. I was hoping POC would be the ones projecting that to their family and friends, but unfortunately, it’s the same people who choose to not look at it the way, whose health is on the line. As much as we have seen white people protesting for the opening of hair salons and restaurants, and continuing to not listen to mask guidelines, the Latinx community that I’m familiar with is starting to match those actions of those we mock. 

I’m bracing myself for the winter to see if the same people throwing big outdoor parties aren’t the same ones trying to bring it inside by November. Soon, a vaccine will be introduced and will change the way people go about trying to link with other individuals. 

It’s not okay to even try to start up an argument with me or others about it. If you’ve been around too many people within the last two weeks, then I want nothing to physically do with you in the meantime. If you’re against wearing a mask in times where you have been around other people and are given the okay to come to other people’s houses, then it’s also a no to trying to start an argument. 

People are truly showing their inconsiderate tendencies when dismissing the reasons and wishes of those who choose to not associate with those not abiding by CDC guidelines. It’s not about you. It’s about those around you and those you’re crossing paths with when you're out in public.