Health, Safety and Inequality in Times of COVID-19

How far can we tip the scale before it falls over?

It’s compelling to learn how much my community college students have to overcome just to arrive in class, let alone concentrate. And now, during COVID, I see them losing jobs, then taking what’s available, including at risk their own well-being to deliver groceries to those that can afford the extra fee. Cleary COVID itself doesn’t discriminate, but we as a country do, and it affects outcome.

It’s blatantly unjust that a huge and valuable part of the U.S. population are not living under the standards they equally deserve, especially given that so many work hard just to stay afloat (and often serving in ways without which our infrastructure would collapse).

I’ve seen it start early, through teaching in elementary schools and community colleges, and working for non-profits . It’s in the news, the courts, prisons and on the streets. And we blame people for expressing anger? I don’t support violence at all, but if you back people into a corner (including with violence and murder), eventually they have little option, but to squirm, wiggle or force their way out in order to survive.

I only hope that after we make it through this time, that as a country we learn to appreciate all that live here and give one another consideration, equity and respect.

For more on this topic read “Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups” from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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