Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau
Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

Every day the clock keeps ticking. It measures the hours, days and months since the U.S. shut its doors to outsiders and insisted, state by state, that residents act accordingly by closing their doors and staying at home. Time measured by weeks results in reports of the numbers of individuals who have contracted the novel coronavirus disease, and the numbers who have died from it. Each week, the numbers grow by the thousands and only time will tell how long it took the U.S. to fight this war and to win the battle that appears to have no end in sight.

While the clock keeps ticking and measuring an ascending peak in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, it is also measuring the days remaining to take the nation’s most important count of all — the 2020 census. With efforts that began early last year, the time is upon us to get every person living in America counted.

April 1 was Census Day and the clock keeps ticking as paid and volunteer workers try to outmaneuver COVID-19 to get folks counted before it’s too late. That means it could become too late for African Americans and Latinos to get their fair share of allocated funds to pay for schools, health programs, public safety and emergency services if they are not counted. And, while the census count deadline has been extended from July 31 to October 31, time may run out before much-needed funds are allocated, redistricting takes place and Electoral College votes are cast.

Counting the U.S. citizenry is daunting but necessary. It has been and will continue to be the people are served. This time, while the American people are understandably distracted by COVID-19, time is of the essence to achieve some modicum of success in completing this decennial task.

So, we urge everyone to take time — less than 10 minutes — to complete your census form that was mailed to your home or fill it out online. In time, participants will see that taking just a little bit of time to answer a few short questions, was time well spent.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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