As devastating as the COVID-19 is, this natural disaster strikes across political, socioeconomic, gender, and racial divides. We are not prepared on some many levels, but what the outbreak exposes are telling.
Inequality of wealth in America
A wide disparity exists between the have’s and have-not’s in our society. But what revealed by the outbreak are the fissures in our social fabric. Nowhere are these disparities more apparent than in employment, healthcare, and pay.
Unemployment skyrocketed. In the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began, 30 million filed for unemployment benefits. That’s more than one in every six American workers. In addition to lost of income, the unemployment also means lost of healthcare insurance for many families. Which leads to my next point.
Flaw of tying health care insurance to employment
Employer-sponsored health insurance. It is a product of the World War II era and a way for companies to attract and retain employees. The concept is clearly outdated and risky. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is a step in the right direction. However that is not enough.
As the richest economy in the world, the US is one of the few developed countries without a universal healthcare. Isn’t our public health too critical to be left to the marketplace? Isn’t it time to rethink about our healthcare infrastructure?
Underpaid “essential workers.” These folks take care of us during the outbreak. But many are underpaid & under-recognized. I am not referring to just the first responders but also folks that are on the job keeping the wheels of society turning so we are taken care.
Workers like the delivery people, bus drivers, grocery store cashiers, meat plant & postal employees, admin support, and the likes. They are essential in putting their life at risk, but many receive only minimum wages. Tributes and accolades, however nice, just don’t cut it.
What have you noticed as a result of this pandemic?