A pesar de la dramática disminución de detenidos, COVID-19 sigue extendiéndose en los centros de detención. Y mientras la pandemia entra en su sexto mes, las alegaciones del brote de Pine Prairie este verano muestran que una agencia aún está luchando por hacer cumplir las precauciones de seguridad más básicas.
Despite the dramatic decline in detainees, COVID-19 is still spreading in detention centers. And as the pandemic enters its sixth month, the allegations of Pine Prairie’s outbreak this summer show an agency still floundering to enforce even the most basic safety precautions.
When Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers Jr. posted a cell phone video on his Facebook page of a police officer kneeling on what appeared to be a Black teenager’s neck, Louisiana’s state capital braced for the worst.
Property tax giveaways to oil companies and entrenched poverty around Louisiana refineries help tell the story of race and disease in an American energy hub at a time when the coronavirus is surging across the South. The virus's effect on oil-rich Louisiana is the story of race, poverty and disease. In Shreveport, where some of the ugliest episodes of Jim Crow-era violence and redlining played out, COVID-19 also tells a story of sustained community disinvestment.
For the last two months, we’ve been checking in with a few high school students across the New Orleans area. In audio diaries and in emails, they talked about missing out on milestones, new responsibilities at home, when and how change will come, and more.
The pandemic has hit more than abortion — it’s shifted access to reproductive health writ large. Advocates say patient volumes have been cut, some reproductive health clinics shut down for over a month, and even in the reopening phase, organizations are re-working how they operate. What’s unclear is the impact all this might have on reproductive health.
There’s an innate incongruence in bringing new life into the world during the gaping stretch of a global pandemic. And pregnant women and new mothers in Louisiana say what the virus has stripped from all of us is being felt even more in the advent of birth: intimacy. What is already an anxious time has only been made more so by the uncertainty and stress of a virus we’re still trying to understand, and the sense that they can’t rely on others as they’d hoped.
All over the city, people are renewing and doubling down on their gardening efforts, or planting and growing their own food for the first time.
As the city expanded, the low-lying, swampy area promised space and opportunity. Black families moved there en masse, and services like grocery stores, malls and jobs followed. But the growth stalled and the far-flung, sprawling region started suffering from disinvestment and white flight. Crime and blight followed. After Hurricane Katrina hit, many businesses never reopened. Hotels, schools and stores shuttered. Now, residents complain about feeling forgotten. That feeling hasn't subsided as a pandemic sweeps the world.
The New Orleanians responding to the COVID-19 disaster by starting food relief programs don't think of it as charity. They think of it as solidarity. Mutual aid. Some groups that have stepped up, like Familias Unidas, were already doing this work. Others, like the NOLA Tree Project, were doing entirely different work. And others didn't even exist before the coronavirus hit. They came together in the crisis.