COVID Survivors Call for Financial Support for Memorials, Medical Leave
Some survivors of COVID-19 are calling for direct financial support and more medical leave to help those hurt by the virus.
Dozens of people across the nation whoâve had direct experiences with COVID-19, like getting sick from the virus and suffering long-term effects, or whoâve lost a loved one to COVID gathered virtually on Saturday to participate in the âSummer 2021 COVID Survivor Summit.â
The group is calling for national paid family and medical leave, funds for COVID memorials and programs supporting COVID survivors, including scholarships for children impacted.
There have been 62,508 COVID-19 deaths in California since the start of the pandemic, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The summit was put together by a national grassroots and nonpartisan group known as Covid Survivors for Change with the goal of helping survivors find ways to use their experiences in driving policy and cultural change.
The nation and the pandemic are âat an inflection moment,â said Chris Kocher, event organizer with the group.
âThere is this emotional shift in the nation. People are looking to move on. We hear a lot about this âget back to normal,â right? These very heartbreaking terms that are not available for millions of Americans,â he said, adding that thereâs an increased focus on raising awareness around the long-term impacts of COVID.
Kocher added, âyes, the pandemic is beginning to come to an end, but 40,000 children have lost a parent, millions of Americans are living with the symptoms of long-COVID.â
Survivors expressed concerns about lifting COVID restrictions, like masking and social distancing requirements, especially when young children remain unvaccinated and when itâs still unclear how to check an unmasked personâs vaccination status.
Summit participants learned about how to lobby lawmakers and organize local marches and awareness campaigns.
â Julie Chang
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