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Readers share how they’re coping during twin pandemics: racism and coronavirus

Protesters stood outside the State House in Boston on June 2.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

We’ve posed a question to readers at Black communities and Black people have been hit hard by the coronavirus, and the economic downturn it has caused, while also dealing with public reminders of police brutality and racial injustice in the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among others. What do these events mean for you, and how are you coping? What are your ideas for change? The following is an edited sample of readers’ responses:

“The evil of racism will always be chased but never caught. Even though we are standing on the shoulders of civil-rights giants who did their best to change things, even to death, it seems to me that history repeats itself generation after generation. My curiosity, as I look forward, is how those who defend the status quo by denying racism exists will maneuver their continuous opposition, in the new age of social media and everyone having a camera phone. Sorry for my pessimism.” — Daniel Santos


“These events propel me to move faster toward looking inward to the strengths within the Black community to build a new future for us led by us!” — Celsea Tibbitt

“To help me get through this, I am avoiding traumatic social media posts because my heart can’t take much more. I shared a poem on Breonna Taylor’s birthday that talks directly to the Black women, including queer, non-binary, and transwomen, who we lost to violence and police brutality. This allowed me to share the frustration I’ve been feeling. I share local Black businesses, sign petitions, send e-mails, indulge in Black music and art, and make sure Black and POC writers are celebrated and seen.” — Serina Gousby

“Black people are pounding the pavement fighting for justice from the pandemic that is racism, all while living through another pandemic that is coronavirus. In our entire history as people in America, we have never not had to fight. I am tired. However, I am hungry to fight harder. As individual Black people, we often feel like we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. It’s important to give our shoulders a rest.” — Claudiane Philippe


“As a Black disabled person, I’ve been isolating since mid-February. I have compromised mobility and respiratory muscles from a congenital form of muscular dystrophy. This puts me at higher risk for having an adverse outcome if I were to become infected by the coronavirus and adds another layer of anxiety, since stats bear out that Black and brown communities are disproportionately affected. Additionally it’s been especially hard to see reminders of how little Black lives matter, many of us barely managing.” — Heather Watkins

“Just as our economy was built on the backs of Black people, so too was the wealth accumulation that drives much of philanthropy, the space where I work. Funders must make changes in how we support communities of color, including increasing funding, offering more flexibility, making reporting less burdensome, and ensuring that fighting anti-Blackness and racism is centralized in our work. We must amplify the voices and leadership of communities of color to develop and implement strategies that work.” — Gislaine Ngounou