‘It could be devastating’: NAACP addresses concern over Delta variant, low vaccination rates

Saturday’s virtual town hall also discussed worries on safe return to schools
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 2:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The NAACP Evansville Branch hosted another virtual town hall on Facebook Saturday morning.

Click here to see it on their Facebook page.

Leaders provided updates on the Delta variant, as well as addressed concerns and questions on the safe return to schools.

[Previous: Evansville NAACP hosts virtual town hall, advocates for people to receive COVID-19 vaccine]

This town hall was moderated by Art McDonald and convened by Rev. Gerald Arnold.

“Some people don’t believe that the virus is for real,” Rev. Arnold said.

This is why these town halls are regularly held, so people can take part in community conversations that focus on the facts, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting our area and the Black community.

“We had several people from across the spectrum - health nurses, Black nurses, Joshua Academy and daycare,” Rev. Arnold said. And from their perspective, because school is getting ready to start and what is the readiness on their part.”

Back-to-school discussions are on the top of several people’s minds right now, as children prepare to return to the classroom in just a few weeks. However, education leaders still have to consider the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, along with the dominant Delta strain.

“Getting ready, right now for us, looks like we’re planning on a staggered start at the beginning of the year,” Joshua Academy Principal Arveneda McDonald said. “This allows us to get our students in a safe manner, and train our parents and students on the virtual side of things, just in case we have to close down.”

The conversation was also led by the Black Nurses of Evansville, which talked about some of the challenges in the Black community.

“There’s still a stigma and distrust in the community, especially the Black community and the people even in our own families,” Arlinda Payne, the founder of Black Nurses of Evansville said.

Arnold, the president of the NAACP Evansville Branch, says if this trend continues and vaccination rates stay low, the results could be damaging.

“It could be devastating,” Rev. Arnold said. “There’s already a few of us, and if we start to spread that to our small community, our churches and everything else will have to shut down again. We will have to really go back into quarantine. It could be devastating.”

Copyright 2021 WFIE. All rights reserved.