The Unseen Victims of COVID-19
While there have been multiple pandemics throughout the last century, few have been as internationally devastating as the Coronavirus. Not since the 1918 Influenza pandemic has the entire world been ravaged by one singular disease, and COVID-19 has decimated businesses, livelihoods and any sense of normalcy.
With the unprecedented speed of the development of a vaccine, many are hopeful life will return to normal in the near future. But even with the promise of a vaccine, Covid has affected almost every person on Earth, and its ramifications will be felt for years to come. Unfortunately, many Americans have disproportionately fallen victim to the virus, suffering even more than the rest of the population. Here are just a few of those victims.
The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million individuals, making it one of the highest per capita of any industrialized nation. Among the slew of issues surrounding the criminal justice system, its response to the Coronavirus outbreak has been extremely lacking. Multiple studies have found higher levels of infections in prisoners than the rest of the country, with some prisons having as high as 70% inmate infection rate.
These results display a clear lack of concern for incarcerated Americans, or even employees of state and federal prisons. Especially as the vaccine rollout begins, state legislatures must consider prisons in their plans to stop the virus. Many states have already created vaccine plans which include inmates and prison staff, but many more have excluded them from their rollout timelines.
Prisons across the country are in desperate need of relief, and it is up to the rest of the population to tell their representatives to think about Americans living and working within prisons. The needless infection and death of prison inmates and staff must be stopped.
Over the last few years, ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) detention camps have come under heavy scrutiny by many around the country and world. The detention centers have become infamous for their poor hygiene standards, with many cases of infectious diseases running rampant among facilities.
It is no surprise then that these migrant detention centers have become hotbeds of Coronavirus, “handing out masks late, forcing detained people into close quarters, refusing to release the medically vulnerable, not reporting infections, testing inadequately, frequently transferring detainees, and pressuring staff and guards to continue working despite compromised health.” ICE has done next to nothing to protect immigrants and staff living and working in detention centers, with concerns over vaccine distribution being raised across the country.
It is crucial that Americans take action and tell their representatives and ICE that migrants have the right to proper Coronavirus care and vaccination. Over the last few years, ICE has displayed little sympathy for the people it detains, and the COVID-19 pandemic only makes this behavior more evident. Don’t let this mistreatment continue. Take action today to help immigrants!
People of Color
Black and Latinx communities have particularly fallen victim to COVID-19, with drastically higher death rates than White communities. This data only further reflects the race inequalities which have dominated headlines throughout the year.
The effects of COVID-19 on communities of color does not simply stop at health; it impacts all aspects of life. Across the country, math and reading scores have been dropping for school children. However, according to an assessment by Renaissance Learning Inc., students in high poverty, rural, Black, Latinx and Native American communities have been performing worse than those with more advantages.
It is crucial that, as we move into a post-Covid world, we help disadvantaged communities rebuild. Black and Latinx schools and businesses have been hit harder by the Coronavirus outbreak, and need to be included in the coming vaccine rollout and any further public relief.
What You Can Do
COVID-19 has laid bare the myriad issues which beset the United States. While all communities have been greatly impacted, inequality is on full display in this pandemic. Now with mass vaccination beginning, we must continue to demand justice and equity. Everyone must take action to guarantee an even, timely vaccine rollout. As the world rebuilds, it is up to all of us to make sure no one is left behind!
To find more ways you can help people suffering from the effects of COVID-19 and its societal ramifications, visit Impactree’s Coronavirus Action Hub.