This piece is inspired by the COVID response in Kerala, India. With the help of thousands of people in this region, an unprecedented and largely unreported response to COVID was able to effectively “break the chain” of transmission while providing the basic necessities for life and public safety. Examples include women collectives coming together to make masks, and brigades of youth creating hand sanitizer among other goods needed in this time. Above all else, the slogan, “Physical distance, social unity” is emblematic of the mass participation needed to overcome our current moment in the form of choosing to wear masks, and choosing to be a part of the solution despite how difficult the circumstances are. As someone from an immigrant family, the closeness of the family we have in the US is especially important as many of us face isolation due to language and cultural barriers. Although there have been efforts to continue to become a more welcoming society, this current pandemic has made it especially difficult for us to abide by guidelines and stay physically apart and for that reason, this piece has embraced the slogan and translated it to Spanish, as a call to action for all of us and our families in order to live and thrive in a post-COVID future together.
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