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Op-Ed: Every Life Matters

You want to know what it means that lives matter?

Let me explain to you what that looked like in our community for the past few months.

As soon as people started showing strong symptoms of the virus and ended up in the hospitals, our schools shut down in one day. The synagogues closed shortly after. Our community doctors and leaders paired up together, despite their differences, and joined forces to provide us with information and guidance.

Why? Because every single life mattered!

Any person in our community that needed medical assistance was able to call the local “Hatzalah” ambulance service at any time of day or night, and literally within a few minutes they’d have special, dedicated hatzalah members at their door, ready to assist them in whatever they needed. They’d be there to stabilize the patient, sometimes provide them with things like oxygen, check their vitals, provide the patient with whatever other relief methods they could etc to help them stay home. In more severe cases, they would transport them to the hospital in a quick manner.

Dedicated members, old and young, who were running on calls every 20 minutes, day and night for a few weeks straight!

Not for pay. Not for fame. But because every life matters!

Elderly, vulnerable or sick people that needed essentials but weren’t able to leave their homes, were able to call a hotline which would contact volunteers from the community who would go do the shopping needed and deliver it to their homes.

Charity organizations were providing free food in tremendous amounts for anyone who was struggling financially. No questions asked. Anyone who wanted was able to pick up food packages every week and especially before the Jewish holidays that were celebrated.

When our leaders told everyone to stay home, everyone stayed home. Everyone was social distancing.

We accepted their verdict. Because every single life mattered.

With G-d’s help, we were able to flatten the curve in our community, much earlier than the rest of the city. Flatten as in not one new case in over a month! And now while in the recovery stage, many have been donating blood and plasma to help others who need it, regardless of who they might be and what color their skin is, since we all bleed the same color red.

So if you want to know what it means that lives matter? This is what it looks like!

When we look out for one another, when we help one another, when we’re considerate of one another. When we provide for each other, stay put when necessary, no matter how difficult. When we stop our busy lives, and have to cut down on family and community celebrations and get togethers and, unfortunately, funerals.

When not one store is looted. Not one violent act is committed despite many frustrations. When our children continue learning ethics, life lessons, morals and skills over the computer, cooped up in their tiny homes. And everyone looks out for each other even from afar.

So if you say lives matter, maybe come learn from us what that actually means….

A Proud Crown Heights Resident

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