This year, instead of hitting the road, the AIDS Memorial Quilt — the more than 48,000 handmade panels honoring over 100,000 lives lost to AIDS that brought attention to and spurred action to address the pandemic back in the late 1980s — will have virtual showcases in all 50 states and U.S. territories due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite roughly 50,000 positive COVID-19 cases in the Charlotte region, area health departments have only successfully tracked the origins of widespread COVID-19 infections a handful of times since March. Those examples, while rare, are proof it is possible to pinpoint exactly where and how people are getting infected, but it takes the public’s cooperation.
We cannot overlook COVID-19’s negative impacts. Disparities in access to medical care are more visible now, and the need for policies to ensure equitable access to healthcare and treatment are required. Compensation of essential workers, especially in healthcare, is inadequate and must be addressed.