Pandemics, like any disaster, strain individual, family, community and societal resources. We know COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people who are older or have serious underlying medical conditions, but young and relatively healthy people are also vulnerable to infection and transmission. People in high-exposure jobs and those without sick leave, health insurance, savings, secure housing, affordable child care, social supports or other kinds of safety nets now face a variety of serious challenges.
Given the unequal wealth distribution in the U.S. and historic (and present-day) racial injustice and inequity, many people of color (POC) are in need of extra support as the coronavirus crisis deepens. This includes those who are black, Hispanic, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), or of combined or different identities. In New York City and elsewhere, data is already revealing that communities of color have higher infection rates.