As the protest movement continues globally, the cases of COVID-19 have also spiked around the country.
Lorna M. Johnson (MSN, NM, NP), a Los Angeles-based nurse-midwife, is speaking out to the brave citizens protesting for justice.
“You have to be healthy to fight for justice – the virus is still among us and does not discriminate,” Johnson said.
“My heart is really heavy just watching these young people risking their lives in many ways. Standing up for what they believe in with peaceful protests and we need their voices but they need to protect themselves.
“In order for them to protests we need healthy people because we don’t just have the virus but we have of course the pandemic of racism that we have to deal with.
“We have to encourage them to make sure they wear their masks, their gloves, getting tested and as they demand justice pray for them and hope they will do the right thing.”
“The virus is real and it does not discriminate. They have to use the things at their disposal: Gloves, Masks, eating well, staying hydrated and not sharing things.”
Change Is Going To Come?
Johnson is the founder of the Lorna M. Johnson Global Institute and has created a Priority of Service petition with Change.Org.
She is demanding protections and rights for nurses and healthcare workers who are front-line in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must be prepared for a resurgence. With the re-openings, marches, and increased exposure and other threats, we need to be ready now. Our healthcare workers and systems must be given the tools that they need to continue standing on the front-lines,” added Johnson.
Johnson is a proud American citizen of Jamaican-Cuban heritage and runs the Advanced Family Care Medical Group, an East LA, inner-city medical clinic.
“We are definitely disproportionately affected. Like anything else we know what some of the reasons for that is. There’s stressors that we are used to so we have adequate healthcare and I have a clinic in the inner city because the best healthcare isn’t given to communities in the underserved areas.
“The lack of trust that our community has of other, the white community, is an issue. I opened a healthcare clinic in the inner city where people can relate to me and it grew out of control because people was so happy I was there.
“We have that problem with access to healthcare, we have a distrust of the medical system, exposure to pollution, and we end up with high blood pressure, diabetes, and all these complications that we have to deal with that come with not eating properly.”
“It is incumbent on us to give that information out to our community so that they can get tested and not be afraid to get tested or even for contact tracing. They don’t want a white person coming to their door asking them questions. They want somebody that looks like them to do it so we have to do what we call sensitive care to communities.”
“Masks, gloves, and COVID-19 testing must be a part of the fight against the pandemic of an equal justice and COVID-19. You want to encourage them to protest but you must be healthy before you can fight for freedom or justice.”
Not Forgetting Those On All The Front Lines
Johnson proudly shared her diverse knowledge about healthcare as a former committee member on President Obama’s National Health Care Advisory Committee.
As a former member of the President’s committee, she encouraged the use of certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners as primary care providers.
Currently, her grassroots efforts have attracted support from Hollywood notables like Angela Bassett and Anthony Anderson for her petition.
The petition includes:
· Mandatory PPE supplies for all Healthcare workers
· Therapy and/or grief counseling for all healthcare workers
· Healthcare workers should receive hazard pay and paid leave to alleviate burnout.
· Mandatory COVID-19 testing for all healthcare workers; transparent check-in systems to protect healthcare workers from exposed peers and patients
“We must protect our healthcare workers,” said Johnson. “While the country begins to re-open, we cannot ignore the daily needs of these brave professionals both on the job and at home.
“We have seen massive shortages of PPE’s and protective gowns, as well as a continued lack of testing at health centers, homes, and clinics in the underserved communities and inner cities.
“While we start to get out and begin to socialize, workout, shop, etc..we cannot forget those that are taking care of our health now and in the future. They have been heroes to this nation serving communities in saving lives. “
“Healthcare workers are on the front-line as first responders, nurses, and doctors, and they are in danger. We are asking for Congress to craft legislation immediately to protect them so they can continue to serve our fellow citizens,” added Johnson.