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Commentary: Tips for Staying Safe (Emotionally) as Pandemic Drags On

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant have fundamentally changed many of our lives, the way we live and the manner in which we interact with each other, and how we live, work and play together.   



African woman meditating sit at desk in front of pc, serene mixed-race female closed eyes folded fingers mudra symbol do exercise practising yoga reducing anxiety stress positive frame of mind concept/iStock

Many of us are tired, stressed and impatient having to live our lives under this seemingly never-ending pandemic. 

In early spring, many of us were hopeful that COVID-19 was coming to an end.  We began making plans for the summer, from visiting family and friends to attending concerts, plays, planning for vacations and special milestones, and basically “just returning to normal life activities.”  

However, as life would have it, the Delta variant appeared. We were again confronted with the inability to control most aspects of our lives.  In fact, most recently, scientists have purported that we may expect additional variants for years to come.

According to the California Department of Public Health, in February 2021, only 2% of Black Californians were vaccinated. However, as of October 5, 4.2 % of all Black Californians have received at least one dose of vaccine. Representing about 6 % of California’s overall population, we as a community remain behind on our vaccination rate.   

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant have fundamentally changed many of our lives, the way we live and the manner in which we interact with each other, and how we live, work and play together.   

This pandemic has reinforced that there are so many aspects of our lives that we cannot control. And anytime we cannot control our lives and/or our environment, we tend to feel helpless which leads to anxiety and possibly depression.  

So, what can a person do, when life does not go as you planned and are impatient for this pandemic to end?  Here are some tips that have been recommended by the experts:

  1. I know this might sound cliché, but recognizing and understanding your feelings, whether you are sad, angry, stressed, or frightened. Accept, do not negate, how you feel.  
  2. The ability to bounce back and adapt to difficult situations is crucial to wellness.  You have to believe in yourself, your ability to be strong and to try your best – relying on various proven self-care methods — to stay positive.
  3. Try having an attitude of gratitude.  Think about just a few little things or events that are going well in your life daily and in the life of your family and friends.
  4. When you feel overwhelmed…. just breathe…Yes, literally, just breathe in through your nose, hold it and exhale through your mouth a few times or meditate by remembering a verse, phrase, poem, or visualizing a tranquil place for just a few seconds. Still yourself.   
  5. Look back on the good times that you have had and treasure those memories.
  6. Plan a reasonably safe event you can look forward to in the near future that will bring you joy or fulfillment. 
  7. Stop thinking negative.  It’s difficult when life feels as if it’s spiraling out of control but find ways to prove that your negative thoughts are either wrong or that the sky will not fall.  Remind yourself that life and circumstances can and do change.  Turn those negative thoughts into positive affirmations.  Have faith and confidence. 
  8. With so many things going on that are out of our control and often make us feel helpless, focus on what you CAN control in your life.  
  1. Take care of yourself. Exercise, even walking 20 minutes a day, eating healthy, sleep on a regular schedule, turn off electronic devises at least one hour before bed, avoid alcohol and substance use, especially before bedtime, connect with community or faith-based organizations, and/or reach out to your local mental health provider, employee assistance program.

Lenore A. Tate, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Sacramento, California. She specializes in neuropsychology, behavioral health and geriatrics.


Culturally Deprived or Entitled

We all are contributors to the greater being, through exercising our God-like characteristics. God doesn’t create the issues — God shows up with the solution to issues. So, as we practice His characteristics, we then will demand and experience all of what we are asking for today.



Our solutions to our current plights can be simple actions of kindness, forgiveness and empathy.
Our solutions to our current plights can be simple actions of kindness, forgiveness and empathy.

These are questions that we must ask ourselves as a country, city, state and community. We all have become victims of one or the other’s perspective. As a people, the current social climate, has stripped away our core values and sensitivities to properly acknowledge life’s differences. Life itself would have no spice, if it was all constructed with the same images, narratives, hopes, challenges, geography or gender. God’s presence would lose it purpose, behind our definition of social-cultural equalities. Everything can not be the same, but the differences can be a significant part of the whole.

Maybe our real issues are living inside of ourselves, as we look outside of ourselves to find our social and emotional purpose. Culturally, we often credit those voices that have large constituencies or media profiles, instead of those that have a fearless passion for the truth. Let’s not look to judge these efforts, but to hold ourselves accountable to our own truth that is aligned with God’s truth. Within this effort , I think we will emotionally land in a place, that we can start to heal.

Once we can embrace our cultural truths without jealousy, embarrassment, insecurities , bias and most important without fear. We can start to transform our social-emotional challenges. The solutions to our current plights , can be simple actions of kindness, love , empathy, forgiveness without judgement and acknowledging the love for humanity. These are God like social practices.

Let’s remember our greatest competition is our attempt to reach our own potential. It’s not looking to the left and the right, or seeing black and white, but looking comfortably within. This allows for a great collective outcome, because its our unique gifts, that contributes to life’s whole. We all are contributors to the greater being.. God doesn’t create the issues, man’s fears and bruises do. So, as we practice God’s characteristics, we will see a social emotional transformation occur. A culture of spiritual inclusion.

The real intention to deploy emotional equality is beyond the “Color Code” , gender biases, social -economic redlining or the constitutional governance of humanity. It’s simplifying the re-engineering of the processes that blocks the social transparencies of be realized.

Now which side do we sit on is the question to ask ourselves, are we culturally deprived or are we entitled? The acknowledgement of truth starts with you.


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Know Your Zone

New Evacuation System for Alameda County



Benjamin Sow/Unsplash

Alameda County has launched a new evacuation software system, Zonehaven, to provide neighborhood-level evacuation orders in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire. Under this system, all parts of Alameda are divided into zones to improve evacuation management. The website, which is compatible with computers, smart phones, and laptops, provides real-time data in the event of an emergency such as traffic conditions, weather, and incident location.

Know Your Zone before the next emergency – look up your zone number and memorize it. Be sure to bookmark the webpage for quick access to the site.

For more details, watch the Know Your Zone PSA HERE. This is a new tool that will complement existing emergency notifications, including AC Alert and Nixle. If you have not already, sign up for AC Alerts at

Become a Peer Counselor

In this online learning event, participants will learn how to develop therapeutic skills ‘just by listening and being kind.” There is the opportunity to practice skills needed to be present for others experiencing difficulties in life, work, home, school, or community.

It will take place on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The session will be presented by Briana Moore of the Ahbedelight Education and Consulting Symposiums.

Being present requires the ability to listen for and be mindful of the other person or group. Participants will explore active listening skills, learn new creative tools, and develop an understanding of how stress and chronic stress can cause harm to the body, mind, and spirit. Register by August 23, 2021. REGISTER HERE

If you can’t attend on August 25, but would like to receive a link to a recording and resources, CLICK HERE.

Serve Your Community

Supervisor Carson needs District 5 Representatives in the following boards and commissions:

  • Alameda County Fair Association Board of Directors (1)
  • Public Health Commission (1)
  • Parks, Recreation & Historical Commission (1)
  • Consumer Affairs Commission (1)
  • Veterans Affairs Commission (1)

This is an opportunity to serve your community and represent District 5! Please note the eligibility requirements and commitments associated with each position.

For more information and to apply, visit the Boards and Commissions site:

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Fearing the Unknown for Vaccinations

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.  



Vaccine Bottles/ CDC

People have a right to be distrustful about the government and its claims about any vaccination being safe and dependable, especially for people of color. 

Through the years Blacks and other minorities have repeatedly been misled, tricked and hoodwinked into taking medications, vaccinations and treatment that have been alleged to be helpful, only to be used and abused.

However, to do nothing can be equally harmful to our well-being.

So, the question arises as to what we should do?

The simple answer is to do absolutely nothing.  But, obviously, doing nothing doesn’t resolve the dilemma. I suggest that you research as much as possible and figure out what is good for you and your loved ones.

Sometimes our scientists make mistakes. What is good for one person may have the opposite effect on another.

These can be life-and-death situations, so to err in decision-making can be fatal. You must trust your heart and understanding of what is at stake and be confident in your choice.

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.

The Tuskegee experiment was just a fragment of what was going on then, and, in some instances, experimentation with Black lives still exists. If need be, pray for a better outcome before you plunge yourself into the unknown.

Never allow group data, either pro or con, to be the deciding factor.

Personally, I took the vaccination in hopes to show that the perceived harm may be misplaced.

To this very day I have not had any known complications materialize from that shot. I can’t speak for the future, and I feel all that can be done is do what you feel is feasible and allow it to play out one way or another. I did the research and I got vaccinated.

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