Believe it or not, quarantine had some good things going for it. Before the states prematurely opened back up, against the CDC’s recommendations I might add, the Earth seemed to be healing itself. Animals were being seen in places they hadn’t been among other things. People who were generally on site were told they could work from home unless deemed “essential.” People got to stay with their families and actually have family time. For so log it seemed as if you had to choose family or work, but this age of quarantine has allowed us to have both. Those are some great side effects but let me tell you the best thing about quarantine.
I’m a black man in my early thirties, and the best thing about being in quarantine is: I rarely have to leave my house. That may seem like a small thing to some, but to me it’s a gift from God. I can’t speak for any other household, black or otherwise, but every time we make it home we say, “Thank you Jesus.” We do this because we know that in this country, being black and returning to your home unscathed is a miracle. There’s too many black men,women, boys, and girls who left home not knowing it would be the last time. My family and I play it as safe as we can during the day, and try to be home before sunset. My wife doesn’t want me leaving the house after dark, and if I do leave, we try to remember to say a prayer of protection.
if you are wondering why I feel this way, it’s for a good reason. Besides the police, there’s a lot of danger waiting for me. Indiana is an open carry state, so it’s nothing to see a guy with a gun on his hip in the grocery store. White men with guns scare me because history has shown me they can shoot me and get away with it; There’s also the covert and overt racism I deal with. My ability to detect racism is off because I was blissfully unaware of it for a nice majority of my life. I’m the son of a Navy veteran and was born in Hawaii and moved around most of my childhood. I was always surrounded by a diverse group of people so race was never a thing to me. I didn’t have my first black teacher until the last half of third grade, when we moved from Hawaii to Texas in the middle of the school year. In elementary school,someone told me a racist joke and it went over my head because I had no context for it. I wasn’t really too familiar with it until I moved up here to good old Indiana. My college years and adult life made me painfully aware that I was black and some people have problems with that. I always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt but my wife wasn’t about that. She’s lived in Indiana her whole life and she’s usually spot on when it comes to the covert and blatant racism we experience. Subtle things like people not wanting to touch your hand when we exchange money(well before the COVID outbreak some white folk mastered social distancing), to the looks we get when we come around in places where there aren’t too many of us, my wife is usually spot on.
Unless the police run up in my house and shoot me(happened a few times, with Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Kentucky being the latest victim), then the best place I could be during a quarantine is inside my house. I feel almost like a mouse, I only venture out of my hole to seek food. I’ve literally been laughing at folks eager to get back whatever passes for normal these days. The only things I really miss are fast food and assembling at my church home. As a black man in America, the more I leave my house that increases my chances of running into the police. The current climate will tell you that some of us don’t survive those encounters even when we comply; as for me and my house, we will stay at home. Home is probably the safest place to be for a black man or woman, even during a pandemic.