Today I was at the gas station with my husband. We had our masks in my purse for when we would enter the grocery store. I also had hand sanitizer and wipes for when he finished pumping gas. I’m the furthest thing from a germophobe and I was actually impressed that I remembered not one, but two things that could allegedly protect us from falling ill. As I processed the need for these new objects that were now crucial from me to remember when I leave the house in addition to my phone, wallet and keys, I noticed something.An older white woman who was alone was clearly having car trouble. A black man ran right up to her with a smile on his face ready to help. Without hesitation, they shook each others hands. Normally, I wouldnt overthink or probably even notice the interaction. But in that moment of fear and wondering what all of us had to do to or should be doing to adapt to this new world and to keep ourselves safe, I stopped myself and thought…Stop thinking about how the man is at a much greater risk of infection because of the fact that inequity is already a pre-existing health condition. Stop thinking about the fact that the older white woman was also at greater risk being someone of her age. Just breathe. Admire the acts of selflessness that surround you during this time. Remember that if there is ever going to be a turning point in this dark, twisted world, its right now. Maybe, just maybe, that handshake between two people who may not have otherwise ever been connected may be a sign of things to come. I dont want to assume that this is hopeful anymore. For the first time, in a long time, I think that its possible.
Note: Responses which fell closer to the middle (between two or three options) are shown as two dashes.