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Your Questions and Internal Answers


Throw it all away. In a week when monkeypox cases hit your community, Biden catches covid, and your social media feeds you with updates on every single detail of the January 6th hearing, you might feel like giving up. I get it.

Yes, even on a Caribbean island, where the warm sun greets you almost every morning, life is not perfect. Local communities in Antigua and Barbuda have concerns about a recent double homicide. In addition, the Prime Minister fears a monkeypox outbreak and wants to acquire vaccines to limit the spread.

Despite mandates to continue isolation practices, we remain connected in a universal struggle to survive.

This week WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency. The viral infection spreads during prolonged periods of skin contact. In some cases, that contact is sexual; in others, it may be casual.

Doctors believe that it is circulating more rapidly among men who identify as gay and bisexual. Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, but for some speculated reasons, there are a significant number of cases among men who have sex with other men. As a result, members of the LGBTQ activist community are asking for more help.

When a toddler in California presented the state with its first monkeypox case, others decided to join the fight for more vaccines.

Are you wondering if vaccines are the solution?

Despite being vaccinated and double boosted, Biden caught covid. From last week's post and multiple resources, you know the vaccines control the more severe virus responses but do not provide immunity. Biden experienced mild symptoms and continued working from the White House. According to the press, his exposure to the coronavirus remains a medical mystery.

Sure, the vaccine helped to prevent Biden from getting really sick, but if he could not avoid corona, what hope does that leave the rest of us? Was that one of your questions this week?

You need a break. Self-care can act as a form of resistance against oppression.

Lately, you’ve heard more than enough about the incidents that happened on January 6th. Trump’s supporters led an insurrection with his guidance and encouragement; let’s finish the trial and deliver the consequences already. You continue to question how he got into office. But, then, you remember this is America where nothing surprises you.

Not much makes sense from Columbus's arrival to the Americas with death and destruction in tow to present-day politics. Why was it ever ok to run syphilis experiments on Black men? Why did the Catholic church in Canada close its eyes to school abuse for years? More questions surfaced when you read and watched the news this week.

Maybe you felt Elon Musk was on to something when he suggested humans move to mars. You don’t respect his decision to join the Republican movement, but the idea of escaping earth’s many challenges to create something different is attractive. The idea comes and goes when you acknowledge that moving to another planet will not fix everyone’s problems.

We will take our issues with us on whatever land we call home. That’s a realistic perspective; it’s not pessimism. Regardless of how dire the situation feels, we must continue to work every day toward the changes we want to see in our lifetime.

Our work is not easy. Blood, sweat, and tears are only the outward symbols of the internal battles we fight every day. Yet, we are stronger than we think.

My push for you today is to assess and act on the problems in yourself, your family, and your community. From these starting points, we can join and lead local, national, and international movements.

Powerful people have abused their positions in the past. They will continue their reigns of terror in the present and future if we adopt apathetic behaviors.

As monkeypox cases increase, racial and sexual identity stigmas will permeate hospitals. We must use our platforms to raise awareness of discrimination practices during this global health emergency.

If more vaccines or other preventions arrive and things begin to improve, we must continue to work. See Biden's decisions this week as a reference.

Make time this weekend to plan how you will use your role to make a more significant impact. Look at this example of three women standing for diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility in swimming. They are using their sport to influence and enhance lives.

This blog’s call to action is for you, and I am also internalizing the message. Every day, I push myself to improve in at least one aspect of my life. I invest in daily time with my wife to grow in love and to build a stronger family. In my work, I look for new ways to prepare more empathetic and culturally aware physicians.

Wherever you find yourself this Friday, know that you are valued. You are here for a purpose. The answers to your questions reside inside you.

Challenges in this world need your abilities, and giving up is not an option!

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