As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Virginia and the world, a large network of activists and community organizers have come together to discuss the ramifications of U.S. infrastructure on public health. Outbreaks of the virus are expected to grow exponentially over the coming weeks and will place significant stress on our health system for months to come. While some countries, such as China, were able to respond quickly to COVID-19 and “flatten the curve,” the U.S. response has been much slower. In order to avoid unfathomably tragic consequences, we must act immediately to make up for lost time. Many Americans lack access to healthcare, paid sick leave, and other services that would delay the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. While this needs to be dealt with on a national level, we as community organizers in Roanoke & Salem, Virginia demand that our elected officials set an example for other cities by adjusting local policy to bring relief immediately to those who are most vulnerable.
We are about to enter new territory, as this pandemic is predicted to be unlike anything we have previously faced in our lifetimes. The choice is clear: ensure that resources are shared and the needs of all are met, or continue to withhold necessities from those who need them most to the ultimate detriment of all. We demand the following five points be adopted to ensure that the people of Roanoke make it through this crisis with the least amount of suffering possible.
A Pandemic Platform for the People of Roanoke: https://bit.ly/3agq7f2