Viral inequality: Coronavirus might be an equalizer but society is not
|Toronto Star 08 Apr 2020 at 15:25|
NYC governor Andrew Cuomo called the Coronavirus “The Great Equalizer.” It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live and how much you earn—everyone is at risk from Covid-19. But not everyone experiences pandemics the same way. There are some significant differences in how people are coping and protecting themselves from this virus, including by income. People with money are likely to find it easier to put distance between themselves and others. They can do their work at home, connect to colleagues and friends via Zoom, and hold online happy hours with their “quarantinis.” They may also be more able to get food and supplies brought to their door, and stockpile some necessities. It takes money to hoard. Now there’s a certain “viral inequality” based on who can get tested and who can’t, who can socially isolate and who is forced to go out to work, and who can socially isolate in the best conditions and who’s locked down in a shoebox apartment.
The Covid-19 pandemic has become a stark reminder of the many inequalities that exist within and between countries. In today’s episode, Saba Eitizaz speaks to Ian Goldin , Professor of Globalization and Development at the University of Oxford—and former financial advisor to Nelson Mandela—about how the Coronavirus has highlighted a class divide, and how, historically, similar crises have had the same effect and eventually paved the way for socio-political change. He discusses what kind of world might we live in after this is over.