Not Just a Candy Shop

scarlet blog 1

Scarlet Cockell

MPH Candidate

Every public health professional I’ve spoken to has always said:

 “When we do our jobs right, no one knows, but when we get it wrong….”

After the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure you can guess the ending of that statement.

As we begin our preparations for Texas, this concept has been living rent-free in my mind. The idea is that, despite your best intentions, tireless commitment to a cause, and selfless contributions, one mistake can turn the community you serve against you. I think that’s why public health workers are so inspiring to me. Each day the odds are stacked against them, but they still show up. Each day there are new challenges to overcome, yet they still try. Each day a new person tries to discount their work, but they persevere.

The South Central AHEC team reminds me of that. In our brief meeting with the members of South Central AHEC, the sense of dedication and determination to uplift and serve the community was almost palpable, even through my computer screen. When you serve a disadvantaged, underserved, under-resourced community, and every other unequal descriptor you can think of, you don’t have a choice but to show up.

Curtis James Jackson III once said depression is a privilege. And I think he’s right. Living in survival mode may affect one’s ability to experience depression or sense depression. If you don’t live a privileged enough life where you can recognize different periods of depression, you can perceive your depression as a normal part of life.

I think it’s important to acknowledge this concept because individuals in low-income communities, such as those being served by the South Central AHEC, may have been forced to survive due to the circumstances around them. This is another way to think about my privilege when entering the Bexar community and how important it is to be humble and keep an open mind.

All this to say, I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with and learn from the devoted professionals at South Central AHEC and the community members of Bexar County, to serve and uplift them under their ideas of rights.