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The long-awaited cure

"I believe the pandemic and the George Floyd movement are so intertwined," writes Alignstaffing CEO Aaron Copeland.

Aaron Copeland is CEO of Alignstaffing. (Courtesy photo)

This editorial article is a part of Racial Equity Month of's editorial calendar.

This is a guest post from Aaron Copeland, CEO of Alignstaffing.

A significant life lesson learned from COVID-19 is the ability to pivot and see relationships that are not obvious. I believe the pandemic and the George Floyd movement are so intertwined.

When the pandemic initially hit, we viewed COVID-19 as a minor flu, and as time passed, we learned to respect its speed and devastation. We believed that when the crisis was over or subsided, there would be a new norm. We could not have imagined several months later the number of people who would fall victim to the virus, the tragic lives lost, and the economic devastation. We could not have imagined how the virus would restrict our movement and hide our identities.

I could conceptually repeat most of what I have written about COVID-19 and apply it to the George Floyd movement. In a broad sense, the similarities are: both cause death and destruction; few will benefit and the masses will suffer; the virus and movement will divide us almost to the point of being unrecognizable. They have so much in common.

However, the differences are huge. The virus will have a vaccine one day. The vaccine will have the smartest people in the world giving undivided attention to this deadly virus. Doctors, scientists, businesses, and government leaders will devote 100,000s of hours to find a cure for a virus that was identified only 12 to 18 months ago.

The movement, on the other hand, has roots that date back hundreds of years. So far, the solutions include a holiday, government programs, and speeches — comparatively a topical ointment. Still, many believe it’s all political. And for others, they can’t see or, in some cases, don’t want to see life’s inequities.

From the perspective of one who has experienced heartbreaking losses from COVID-19 as well as what has caused this movement, I am even more optimistic as society seems to be reacting to both with care and concern for others.

Some cures come by fixing the outside, the harder cures come from fixing the inside. This at last, may be the painful beginning of the long-awaited cure the movement is fighting for.

Series: Racial Equity Month 2020 / Coronavirus

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