I often feel that I am writing this blog for myself, but I have a platform here. The evolution medicine blog and podcast has a modest number of subscribers. With the recent murder of George Floyd, I am moved to speak. I have been inspired by the peaceful protests that have swelled, and become worldwide, in the last week. It is important that people are exercising their first amendment right to assemble and petition their governments and our society to right this systemic wrong, despite personal risks of violence and the very real risk of coronavirus. A white coats for Black lives protest at Yale, led by physicians (below), showed how people can gather in a safe way. I support these protests, and the greater movement.
There is another connection, of course, to COVID-19. The virus is not racist; it is amoral and unthinking, replicating wherever there is opportunity. But the fact that it has ripped through communities where Native American and Black neighbors live is no accident. Racism and the social stress that goes with it has a lot to do with this. Unfortunately, there is no N95 mask for racism.
Joe Alcock MD
Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine