July 10

Viewpoint: Turning the Tide in Development — an Inclusive Response to COVID-19

By Mireille Evagora-Campbell, Zahra Zeinali

As media headlines became dominated with news that COVID-19 had reached Europe and North America, there were claims that it was the “great equalizer.” It was a threat that would not discriminate along the lines of historical markers of power and privilege.

It was not long before this characterization was widely debunked. On the contrary, it is hard to recall a time when disparities in individuals’ access to health, safety, and economic security were so vivid.

The coronavirus mortality rate is over four times higher for Black people compared with white people in the U.K. and 2.3 times higher in the U.S. Those living in unsafe domestic environments face exacerbated threats, with the United Nations Population Fund estimating an additional 15 million cases of intimate partner violence globally from an average lockdown of three months. The virus has been used as a pretext for arrests of and violence against LGBT people in Belize and Uganda.

As research professor Cynthia Enloe has said of this pandemic: “We aren’t all in this together. We’re all on the same rough seas together, but we’re in very different boats.”

Photo courtesy of Free to Use Sounds.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Coronavirus, Health Care
global development, public health