ADR Advisors Share Their Pandemic Thoughts


All of us at the American Diversity Report express our hopes for our readers’ safety and well being.  See their diverse thoughts of the ADR Advisors on the pandemic situation.

Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez

Dr. Carlos Cortés, ADR Advisor

Dear champions of diversity,  I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and weathering the economic storm.  When this siege is over — as long as it may take — we’ll all have lots of work to do in the pursuit of a future of greater justice, equity, and inclusivity.


Elwood WatsonDr. Elwood Watson: ADR Advisor

Dear ADR readers, The nation is undoubtedly experiencing a significantly challenging moment. While it is important that all of us aggressively acknowledge the gravity of the current crisis directly facing us and astutely adhere to the crucial, if not possibly, life saving advice being dispensed to us by medical expert from across the globe, it is also  imperative that we not allow our feelings and emotions to be overtaken and paralyzed by fear and despair. This nation has always, sporadically endured dramatically transformative crises and each time, we have emerged out of the temporary period of darkness stronger and in some cases, wiser after the fact.  We as Americans are a resilient people and there is no doubt that we will survive this current setback. In the meantime, use common sense, stay safe and remain psychologically strong. 

Beth LynneDr. Beth Lynne: ADR Peer Review Team

I would like to express that we are all in this as a society. We need to keep our sense of humanity and watch out for each other. Although we may not always agree with the lawmakers, we need to heed their recommendations and requirements to stay put and not put those who are disabled, compromised by health, or elderly at risk. If you are bored or just wish to help others, assist those with children at home virtually by helping educate with engaging activities, simply to aid parents with some variety.  Those of you with children, keep them home so they are not putting themselves and others in harm’s way. Ask older people who are alone and housebound if they need help ordering groceries and essentials. Consider how lucky we are, to have so much technology at our disposal—try to spread the word that everything will be okay once again, that we are strong and will come out of this stronger and more aware.

Mauricio Velásquez

Mauricio Velásquez: ADR Advisor

What I know about Stress Management – you should only stress about what you can control. I know these are trying and extraordinary times but we need to be vigilant about taking care of ourselves first. I am eating better, sleeping more, exercising more (all help with stress and anxiety). Trying to finish a book I had started and I am definitely catching up with all of my past or pending reading. Wishing all calm nerves, quality time with family and friends (virtual). I am also praying a lot. I also try to see the bright side – less pollution, more quality time with my family (my son is home from college) and dog Max. Had a fire in my fire pit last night. Do the things you have always neglected not to do because you did not have the time. Oh yes – don’t watch a lot of news (you will go crazy).
Best to all!!!!

Dr. Cynthia Jackson
Dr. Cynthia Jackson

Dr. Cynthia Jackson:  ADR Peer Review Team

To our American Diversity Report Readers: I’m thankful and grateful for your continuous support, especially during these uncertain times of inevitable change that COVID-19 pandemic has presented to us all. As uncertain as the nation appears to be at the moment, we will preserve and as an organization, we’re committed to safeguarding business continuity to best serve our community partners and readers. We’re confident that the impact of COVID-19 will not affect our obligations to you. It’s imperative that we continue to support and encourage one another, while following the latest advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the local Department of Public Health to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the virus – together we will overcome this.  Again, we thank you for your trust in us and support.

David Grinberg
David Grinberg

David Grinberg, ADR Advisor

As we meticulously wash our hands to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus, we must also be mindful to cleanse our hearts of hatred during this period of pandemic. Unfortunately, as history has shown, discrimination, blame, hate speech and stereotypes are too easily cast by some sinister elements of society at groups from diverse backgrounds and/or vulnerable populations. But fear mongering and blame shifting cannot be tolerated, especially during a national and global crisis in which civility and kindness should extend to everyone — regardless of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or other factors.

Advisory Board - Marc Brenman
Marc Brenman

Marc Brenman: ADR Advisor

If this pandemic is as threatening as some “experts” say, we probably want to take some steps that have worked in the past. There’s now an overemphasis on testing. Does anyone remember mass “testing” for any other viral disease?
There should be more emphasis on treatment and amelioration of symptoms. This means building up hospital capacity, many more ventilators, calling back retired medical personnel (A newly retired MD friend tried to volunteer to rejoin her hospital, but never heard back), using the US military’s capacity for chemical and biological warfare response. Don’t believe the Department of Defense claims of not having this capacity. They’ve had it since the Cold War: mobile hospitals (hospitals in containers), hyperbaric units, clean rooms where electronic chips are manufactured (they have negative air pressure similar to hospital isolation units), and radiological facilities as well as moon suits and personal protective equipment (PPE).
           There’s no excuse for not vastly ramping up production of PPE including N95 masks. There are also some old-fashioned responses, like killing the virus in situ. Soldiers, prisoners of war, and displaced people in and after World War II were sprayed with DDT to kill lice and other vermin, vectors of disease. I lived in the Middle East in the 1950’s and 1960’s when men would walk down the street spraying DDT or whatever they used to kill mosquitos. Airplanes sprayed chemicals on agricultural fields to kill plant diseases.
                Today, it’s the coronavirus that we must kill. Instead of leaping to steps that restrain human interaction, we need more imagination and marshaling of resources to do so.

John C. Mannone

John C. Mannone, ADR Poetry Editor

I am thankful for venues like ADR who appreciate their readers and continue to connect with them, especially in times like these. What kind of times are these ? Adrienne Rich tells us in a deeply moving poem by that name. It is in times like these when we are self-isolated that we need all the more to connect. And though it can’t be done with hugs (and kisses), we can still touch each other’s minds with words on a page. This will connect us. It was C. S. Lewis who said, We read to know we are not alone.” “So read, my friends, read and know that you are appreciated and cherished.

Terry Howard
Terry Howard

Terry Howard, ADR Advisor

As much as I enjoy writing, that joy pales by comparison to our readers who inspire us to both rant and rave, cajole and console, to stretch comfort zone, to take them to the edge before reeling them back in. My words of wisdom? Just keep on reading the ADR and the great work that Deborah Levine continues to do for our community.

Soumaya Khalifa

Soumaya Khalifa, ADR Advisor

The last couple of weeks have been unprecedented in just about everyone’s lives. We are seeing shutdowns, lockdowns, grocery stores with empty shelves, no toilet paper or sanitizers in stores, keeping a physical distance, kids are staying home from schools and joining their classmates via Zoom while parents and sometimes grandparents in the same household are also doing their work through the same platform, most non-essential stores and services are closed until further notice and the list goes on. It is not an easy adjustment since there are a lot of unknowns. One silver lining for me to rediscover what is important in life. For me, I am very grateful to so many people – many I don’t even know. I want to start off by thanking the readers of the American Diversity Report and the organizers as without you we would not be here. There are many many unsung heroes that I also want to thank and that including our healthcare providers, first responders, scientists, grocery store workers, delivery folks, and so many many more. The silver lining for me is increased gratitude for all the amazing people around us. Thank you!

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