We speak to you today with hearts full and hopes high—a sentiment that may feel out of place in a time when our nation is filled with the rhetoric of trepidation and indignation as we face the battle against a pandemic.
Today, our country is impacted by the rapid influence of social media. With the heightened warning against the risk of COVID-19, comes the spread of fake news, protests, hateful comments, and opportunists taking advantage of the current situation.
In the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed restless health workers, government officials, and police officers combat against the spread of the novel coronavirus, while maintaining orderliness within communities.
We’ve watched as our fellow citizens walk the streets with fear as they spew words of hate, panic over necessities and discriminate against other nations in fear of getting infected.
We’ve seen families and communities fractured by the painful truth that the poor can’t afford to be sick amidst their possible exposure to the dangers of the pandemic.
We’ve heard heartbreaking cries of the old as they experience the tormenting silence of isolation and disconnection from their loved ones.
And yet, we remain optimistic.
In the midst of strife, we’ve also witnessed survival and strength, kindness and generosity, love and grace. In the face of adversity, we look forward with faith. We are continuing our fight to create a more vigorous world for all people, no matter their status, race or zip code.
May we see this newest chapter of our history as an opportunity for us to re-root ourselves in the community instead of blaming the government, the police, health workers, and other nations –saying they are the root of this pandemic.
Today, may we follow what is the right thing to do with calm instead of being fearful. May we treat our one-month confinement as a gift. The gift of time to spend with our parents, kids and family members. To reflect on our dreams, life, and passion.
We hope that we unite to fight as one and walk as one, on this war. Only when we stand together we can assure and realize a healthier and better world, for this generation and every generation that follows.
-Angelo Cenon Valdez, Founder and CEO, ASEANHR.org