Loved ones of Patrick Lyoya protesting his murder at the hands of a police officer in Grand Rapids, MI — Rebecca Cook/Reuters


Ezinne Ukoha
5 min readApr 24, 2022


Sitting here and reflecting on the magic of life and how one minute can be very different from the next — in a flash. People only love you when you’re winning and consistently on top. When shit hits the fan and you find yourself stuck in unpredictability with a cascade of health issues, disappearing becomes the norm because nobody misses you. You can literally fade away from the weakness of body and soul and watch everyone else moving forward without looking back.

Catching COVID-19 was a hard lesson in what happens when you’re a part of a system that isn’t working very well. Thankfully the rumors are true. Staying vaccinated and boosted is the surefire way of beating the odds and coming out on top. My positive status was a shock and it’s still haunting to know that my body was briefly ravaged by a deadly virus. My victory over COVID leaves me curious about what the future holds, as we attempt to move away from the mask mandates. New cases are still a thing, and moving back to New York City has exposed me to the reasons why staying reasonably cautious is the only way to go. If we don’t start emphasizing the importance of regular testing, especially as the warmer temps are fast approaching, and the season of large gatherings begins, we could find ourselves weathering another tempestuous fall and winter.

Speaking of stormy times, what about the recent case of police brutality in Grand Rapids, Michigan that took the life of an African refugee — Patrick Lyoya? Once again, a routine traffic stop turns into a crime scene, and now an unarmed 26-year-old Black man who hailed from the Republic of Congo is dead, after being shot at the back of the head. Lyoya’s bloody murder is barely getting attention from the Trump-obsessed media, despite the horrific nature of the killing, and how the public still doesn’t know the name of the police officer who committed the murder.

It’s been almost two years since the brutal slaying of George Floyd on the streets of Minnesota by a racist white cop. Graphic footage of the hate crime sent shockwaves around the country and the entire world, which led to weeks of protesting in the name of a Black man who died because his life didn’t matter.

The rampant nature of police brutality has inspired the rally cry to “abolish the police” since it’s evidently too late to reform an institution that’s been rooted…