How Covid-19 Has Affected Underprivileged Communities
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of people nearly everywhere and in many different ways. People are beginning to adapt to a life of living in fear and uncertainty- questioning whether their businesses will be allowed to stay open long term or worrying that themselves or a loved one will contract the virus. While the coronavirus has taken its toll on every area of society, the group most heavily affected by Covid-19 and its implications is undoubtedly the underprivileged. The people belonging to this portion of society lack the resources and opportunities that wealthier people generally have access too. Because of this, the underprivileged population is placed at a definite disadvantage when it comes to fighting against the virus. An excerpt from a March 2020 Human Rights Watch article supports this very idea, stating: "While the virus infects people regardless of wealth, the poor will be most affected due to longstanding segregation by income and race, reduced economic mobility, and the high cost of medical care. Low income communities are more likely to be exposed to the virus, have higher mortality rates, and suffer economically."
Because of the many serious disadvantages that so many communities are faced with in regard to combatting the coronavirus, it is extremely obvious that we must work to help those who are underprivileged. How can we accomplish this? To Lena Simet, senior poverty and inequality researcher at the Humans Rights Watch foundation, the answer is fairly simple. "The government should target its economic stimulus packages to the low-income communities that will be hit first and hardest, and ensure an adequate standard of living for all," Simet says. We must turn our attention to those who are being most heavily affected by the pandemic. As the pandemic has gotten progressively worse and spread to more locations, many have focused their resources on helping the underprivileged recover- financially, physically, and emotionally, etc. Just one example of an organization that is dedicated to helping low-income families in particularly difficult times is the Center for Disease Philanthropy (CDP). In response to the virus' agressive nature, the CDP launched a Covid-19 response fund in order to combat the spread of the virus among particularly vulnerable populations. According to the CDP official website, the Covid-19 response fund includes "social service organizations focused on supporting low-income households, small businesses, immigrants, refugees, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, older adults, people with disabilities, and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, mental health, and economic impacts of the pandemic."
Although steps have been taken to help the underprivileged during these financially and emotionally difficult times, we are far from the finish line. We must continue to work hard for the sake of others who may not be as fortunate and who may not be provided with access to healthcare opportunities, a stable source of income, etc. Every person, regardless of wealth and social status, deserves to be provided with equal opportunities in terms of support, medical services, and more. Everyone deserves to feel well-taken care of and that they are not experiencing this stressful time alone.