People Get Ready “There’s A Change Coming” By Martha Ross

I would like to reach out to the people of Peoria, particularly the people of the Southside of Peoria. Look around and notice that there is something very serious going on- “Covid19”. So, you say that it’s not real or it’s fake news, or it won’t bother me. Really? Do you want to take that chance? I care about all of you, and I want us to pay attention to what is needed for us to take care of ourselves. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a killer lurking that is out to take your life. Young and old are all at risk of losing their lives and or becoming very ill from this virus, which, by the way, has taken well over 4,000 lives just in Illinois; a large percentage of those lives were Black people. Some of them were doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing by social distancing and wearing masks, but the majority of the people who lost their lives from Covid19 were either in denial or denied access to testing because of insurance or fear or just didn’t believe that this was real.

Parents, please take care of your children, keep them home, and or know where they are at all times. Adults get tested for Covid19; the sooner you get tested, the sooner you can get the medical help you may need.

The message here is that we do not have to stop living our lives, but what I am saying is that it is time for us to educate ourselves on the issues that affect us. Please don’t listen to rhetoric that says Black people can’t get Coronavirus. Just look at the facts; it’s not “fake news.”

Today in Peoria, anyone over age 18 can get tested with no symptoms and at no cost to them. None of what’s happening right now is normal, but we are resilient people who have endured much much more. It’s not normal to have to stay home from work. It’s not normal to not be able to visit a sick relative in the hospital or in a nursing home. It’s not normal to have your children get their education online or at home. It’s not normal to be required to wear a mask to go into the grocery store. It is my opinion that the “normal” we have been used to will become the new normal, which gives us an opportunity to rewrite the playbook of our lives. In the midst of all this, we may now have a chance to decide the changes and outcomes we want for ourselves. We can make sure we take better care of our health, our children, and families. We can start to respect each other and demand respect from others. We can decide to treat each other better and place more value on our human lives. We can teach our children their history and how to respect their elderly and each other. We can decide that we can lift each other up instead of killing each other or tearing each other down. We can decide to help build wealth by making smart decisions about how we spend our money- let’s stop making everyone else RICH but us. We can help our children get the very best education and teach them to always try to reach their full potential.

The window of opportunity is “now.” The change is coming; you can determine what it means for you, or you can let it happen to you or without you. SO, PEOPLE GET READY, THERE’S A CHANGE COMING. My hope is that we will stand together and make known that our rights are to be valued and that we have the power to vote our voices, which will make a difference!