During this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. day on the 18th, many of us will be grateful for the three-day weekend as a time to recharge. Beyond just relaxation, however, I call on us to spend this holiday reflecting on King’s work for civil rights and justice, especially in the wake of the events over the last year showing the need for us all to continue his work.
A quote of King’s that resonated with me is “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.” For many problems in the world, this issue isn’t the existence of resources or technologies to solve it; the main hurdle is the cooperation and teamwork that is necessary to get these resources to those people who need it the most.
I find that this quote especially applies to the world today, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The vaccine for the pandemic was created in record time, thanks to the many efforts of the scientists and researchers in charge, but the question mark of transportation and logistics for vaccination still remains. As of Sunday January 10th, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the state had received almost 2.5 million doses of the vaccines, and that 783,476 had been administered. Clearly, in a time of record Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations, this vaccination rate is not acceptable. To honor the sentiment in King’s quote, state and county leadership and health departments must make it their first priority to assemble the right resources in the right places to get all available vaccines into people’s arms. And in order to make sure that everyone gets the vaccine safely, equitably and effectively, we need to show love, care and cooperation with one another as we help others to get their shots and wait our turn.
Here at Jezuba, our hope is that we can continue to inspire and empower the next generation and each generation to come. In the present moment, that starts with making sure we are all protected from the pandemic that has sickened and killed too many people around the world. I hope that on this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. day, we can all learn about how we can cooperate and work together in service to solve society’s most pressing problems, one step at a time.