Living in this time and day, we, as people who are fighting this virus, are also witnessing history. We have gotten used to a normal where if one goes out, they have to wear masks and maintain six feet distance between themselves. We haven’t seen many of our friends and perhaps even family in a long time. Even though we are surrounded by technology, we as humans crave physical interaction. Absolutely no interaction can drive even the calmest person insane. Quarantining and social distancing are the new norms for preventing infection and protecting the people around us. We try hard to prevent the spreading of this virus to more sensitive groups. One such group are senior citizens, who have had to be careful since day one. As the CDC has stated, the increasing age is equivalent to increased risk of infection. Research shows that adults that are 60 years or older are at a higher risk than most. If they already have a severe illness, it can have disastrous effects on one’s health condition. This means that they have to go above and beyond to make sure that they remain safe. So, support for our older relatives and friends is essential to survive this pandemic. Recently, Thanksgiving was celebrated. Because of the pandemic, many places around the world prohibited families from going to another’s home. Hence, for many people, especially senior citizens, Thanksgiving was spent alone. Here at Letters Of Gold, we try to reach hearts. To convince people that where there is darkness, there is always light. This month, we are writing to senior citizens. One letter with a positive message can brighten anyone’s day. On a deeper scale, it can help a person keep on fighting. Please show your support to these amazing people!
The Grim Reality of Domestic Abuse
Imagine waking up every day with a sense of fear, dismay and not wanting to get out of bed. Going about your daily activities feeling uneasy for what may happen when you get back to your own home. Being consumed with worry about what the next day will bring. This is the mindset of a person going through domestic abuse.
The Texas Council on Family Violence estimates that 1 in every 3 Texans will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their life. This alarming number indicates how prevalent this issue is and how deep it runs in our society. The month of October is recognised as domestic violence awareness month. We need to raise the awareness of this issue and highlight the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole.
Domestic abuse manifests in many forms. It can start from seemingly harmless verbal taunts, progressing to insults and going all the way to physical abuse. It can also leave emotional scars on its victims which can last a lifetime. Many victims suffer at the hands of their very own loved ones, there is no surprise then in finding out that on average, 20 people are physically abused every minute by an intimate partner in the United States according to the NCADV. Survivors of domestic abuse can be faced with psychological trauma, severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
Just because the abuse ends doesn’t mean that it can be forgotten. Many survivors also turn to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of getting through the hard times that come with recovery. These people are forced to go through hell but somehow manage to find their way through to the other side. It takes courage and strength to endure this ordeal. Doing something as simple as putting a smile on their face can help them get through the day.
This is why we are asking everyone to write words of encouragement in order to help these amazing people get through their difficult times. A simple letter can brighten their day and help them take on tomorrow. Show your love and support to these brave people!
WRITTEN BY MINA BILAL
'Reinventing The Wheel'- Educators In The Midst of COVID-19
By: Mina Bilal
It is hard to believe that it has been more than five months since the US was hit by Coronavirus. It resulted in the shutdown of the entire country. Stay-at-home orders affected people of all ages and all walks of life. At a time when the businesses were closed, offices shut and entire communities in a lockdown, there were some among us who worked tirelessly for the comfort of others. Our educators and teachers were among them.
With the stay-in-shelter order suddenly put in place by the government, it left the educators in a lurch. Spring break was coming to an end and the teachers had to come up with an alternative to face-to- face teaching. They came across multiple challenges in these unprecedented times. They were forced to discontinue their normal and established mode of instruction, rapidly acquire skills, and transition into remote learning.
The teachers, across the globe, had to modify their teaching methods and adapt to remote learning while abandoning the traditional mode of instruction. It completely changed the education and teaching for the students and teachers. All teachers had to learn unfamiliar computer applications in record time while tailoring their lesson plans for digital platforms. The workload increased significantly. As a teacher from Mountain View High school, El Paso, Texas pointed out in their school publication (Oracle), “I am working much longer hours and feel as if I am reinventing the wheel on a daily basis.”
As lockdowns ease and schools start to reopen in the fall, it will follow with a new set of challenges. Many of the nation’s 3.5 million teachers feel that their safety and the safety of their families are at stake. It will be a struggle to adhere to some of the guidelines put up by CDC for schools, such as maintaining a 2-meter distance while walking in the hallways, physical distance in a class, keeping the school sanitized at all times etc. This puts them in a difficult position; close contact exposes them to the virus. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that nearly 1 in 4 teachers are at greater risk of serious illness if infected with the coronavirus. Nevertheless, these teachers have risen above their personal issues to facilitate the education of the students.
The teachers have gone beyond what their duty requires which is why we implore you to write them letters to appreciate the way they have risen to the occasion. Let’s give them a glimmer of positivity during these difficult times.