Extra! Extra! Let’s Look at the Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities

COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate. As of today, we’re at nearly 2 million confirmed cases worldwide, and we all know the real number must be well over 2 million. Last week, we crossed 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19, doubling the global fatality rate in just over a week. This week’s Extra! Extra! COVID-19 takes a look at the particular threat the virus presents in communities with weak health systems and how the economic fallout from social distancing is making the situation even more dire for marginalized people.

How We Talk about COVID-19

This essay by Lawrence Freedman for the NewStatesman examines the language used by world leaders to talk about the pandemic. It’s an interesting read, but perhaps one of the most critical points comes at the very end:

Covid-19 is a universal threat. This is why, as we develop the responses we need to, we should veer away from the language of conflict and think in terms of cooperation in a global effort.

Coronavirus and the Language of War

What Has Happened as COVID-19 Spreads among Impoverished Communities

In last week’s round up, I shared articles that expressed concerns over what would happen once COVID-19 reached some of the world’s most marginalized communities. Of the places mentioned in last week’s round up, it only took a week before the disease was confirmed in Yemen. The articles below cover what’s happening as COVID-19 leads to a mounting death toll in Ecuador and is confirmed in Syria, among the Roma people in Europe and indigenous populations in Brazil.

Ecuador Is a Grisly Sign of How COVID-19 Will Devastate the Global South

“After War We Now Have This”: Syrians Grapple with Poverty and Coronavirus

“Where Is This Going To Lead?”: Roma People In Europe Face Coronavirus Disaster

First Yanomami COVID-19 Death Raises Fears for Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples

Economics in a Pandemic

The UN’s International Labor Organization released a report stating that social distancing measures needed to stem the spread of COVID-19 were affecting 4 out of 5 workers’ ability to earn their livings globally. Of course, the most vulnerable groups are those who live in countries with developing economies and low income people living in developed economies. In many cases, harsh economic realities make it difficult for people to strictly follow social distancing measures, creating a vicious cycle. The articles below look at case studies across three continents and potential solutions for addressing some of these issues.

COVID-19 Lockdowns Threaten Africa’s Vital Informal Urban Food Trade

“I Fear Hunger More Than the Virus”: Pakistan’s Delicate COVID-19 Balance

COVID-19 Is Ravaging Black Communities. A Milwaukee Neighborhood Is Figuring Out How to Fight Back.

Africa Needs Debt Relief to Fight COVID-19

A Look at Governmental Failures

And these last few articles for the truly cynical among us who want to know how we landed in this hole in the first place, at least in the UK and the US. I have to admit, I have a gross fascination with reading these types of articles. I’m truly at a loss to understand dysfunction, caprice, willful ignorance – I don’t even know what to call it – on this scale, and so I keep reading these articles to try to “understand.” And every single time, I finish the article feeling even more despairing at the state of “leadership” in this world.

Trump Was Warned in January of COVID-19’s Devastating Impact, Memos Reveal

Special Report: Johnson Listened to His Scientists about Coronavirus – But They Were Slow to Sound the Alarm

Hydroxychloroquine: How an Unproven Drug Became Trump’s Coronavirus “Miracle Cure”

And this just in… I can’t even…
Fauci Acknowledged a Delay in the US Coronavirus Response. Trump Then Retweeted a Call to Fire Him.

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Himani is a dabbler of a writer. Her work includes reviews of media centering Asian stories, news and politics, advice and the occasional personal essay. Find her on Instagram.

Himani has written 53 articles for us.


  1. really appreciate the coverage.

    the article about language and the suggestion that discussing COVID-19 response in terms of cooperation rather than war seems important. hoping that cooperative efforts like the Western States Pact show how the federal response should have gone.

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