Carrie Y. Hepburn-Brown, OPEN Network Weaving and Relationship Manager

For the past few week’s I’ve been thinking about my blog post. At the time I was thinking through the re-opening process and trying to envision what the ‘new normal’ might entail. Many of my thoughts were centered around the holiday weekend and how community ‘reopenings’ might lead to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. I continued to follow recommended safety precautions and shy away from people and places who were not doing the same.

I am a cord cutter — someone who discontinued their cable service (years ago). As a result, most of the news I receive is second-hand and not in real-time. However by Wednesday, I was up to speed about the death of George Floyd while in police custody and the accusation of Chris Cooper while birding in Central Park. For whatever reason these two incidents ‘hit differently’ — the impact of the situations were significant and more intense than previous experiences.

I shared some thoughts on a podcast, started processing my feelings with teammates and family members, and I cried. My tendency is to analyze and act not to reflect and emote; expressing my feelings is rare. By Sunday afternoon I had become active again on my social media platforms and by late night I had been glued in front of the news watching CNN for several hours. At some point during the day, a headline caught my attention — We Are Fighting a Pandemic Amid a Pandemic. And there it was. My incomplete thoughts captured in a headline. The tangible explanation of why I had been so deeply affected.

As I consider the long view and where this moment in time may lead I am filled with emotions from across the spectrum; I’m all over the feelings wheel. The way you view this moment — an uprising, a passing moment, a tipping point — will impact how you act and what you do next. As a part of OPEN, I hope we will each decide to deliver as our brand platform declares — connect with purpose, disrupt with inclusion, foster safe spaces and drive collective action.