*Emblematic* #11 – Boston faces race in covid-19 spread pattern; mask-making is a modern dunkirk; governors license foreign trained health workers


This is *Emblematic* #11. For Days 1 through 10 Click here. Shining a spotlight on stories of inspired leadership in the coronavirus crisis. The idea is to inspire greatness in all of us. Don’t just applaud – Apply!

Data is making one thing clear so far: in some cities, Black residents are far more likely to get the virus and suffer serious health consequences. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh reacted to the pattern, saying that “equity remains a major focus” and the city would “take a good, hard look at the numbers” as early indications show a dramatically higher rate of COVID-19 infection among Black residents. The Mayor appointed a 24-member task force to address the topic in depth. Boston City Councillor Andrea Campbell, who represents a district that is a statistical and cultural center of Black community life in Boston expressed her horror at the data. “More than 40% of Boston residents infected with COVID-19 are Black or African-American, though just 25% of Boston’s population is black, ” she said via twitter. Councillor Campbell said the city needs to “make sure that every Bostonian can stay safe, and if they’re sick, can receive the medical care they need to recover.” Mayor Walsh and Councillor Campbell are speaking plain truths about data in a timely manner, and bringing leadership together to make informed observations and decisions. Undoubtedly there are pre-existing disparities leading to the patterns emerging in Boston, Detroit and other cities as data just begins to reveal patterns. It may be more than that. This will be critically important to watch.

Remember Dunkirk? In 1940 recreational and commercial boats (and pilots) braved the English Channel to rescue and evacuate British troops being forced to retreat to a French beach. We used the metaphor on this blog once before – when all those heroes in pick-up trucks flocked to Houston, Texas to rescue strangers from rising floodwaters back in 2018. A few weeks ago the first reports came out of businesses making protective gear including masks and gowns to aid our shockingly vulnerable healthcare workers. Matouk, Brooks Brothers, Nike, Burberry…Now companies of all sizes and private citizens in their homes are getting in on the act. It’s a beautiful sight (and going on worldwide) to see and making a difference. Boston area construction executive and community organizer Meg Glazer has a whole operation going in her house. As the Washington Post reports, “Lawyers, hobbyists and even a bridal shop are making masks — and giving them away.”

Governors in a small handful of states are stepping up to expand the pool of available medical and nursing talent as the COVID-19 crisis deepens. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy set the standard, authorizing foreign licensed doctors to practice and expanding the purview of Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants. New York followed and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a more modest order granting licenses to foreign trained doctors who have completed specified amounts of US training. A leading advocate called the move “a good start.”

Emblematic is a publication of Emblem Strategic LLC. For more information contact info@EmblemStrategic.com. Andrew Tarsy is Principal and Founder of Emblem Strategic LLC. We can help you make sure your choices in this crisis are emblematic of the core values and the vision that drives your organization even in the best of times. Let’s talk!

In the US, for the most up to date information about Coronavirus health and safety, please contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Elsewhere please contact your local and national authorities. Stay safe, be smart.

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