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COVID-19: The Impact of Power, Gender, Race, and Religion

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COVID-19: The Impact of Power, Gender, Race, and Religion

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Life during the COVID-19 pandemic is something that no one could have expected or prepared for. The way that our everyday lives instantly got disrupted and for many people their lives turned completely upside-down. We went from going to concerts, shows, and movies with friends and family, to lockdown in a brief second. Yet, for everyone lockdown, quarantine, and even work all looked different. There were many factors that went into trying to be able to stay safe and healthy during this time. Not everyone had the same advantages to try and protected themselves and their loved ones; some of the driving forces behind the advantages or disadvantage were power, gender, race, and religion.
The more power, money, influence that you had during 2020 was what could almost guarantee that you and your family would be okay. By having money and power one was able to by as many masks as they wanted or by as much disinfectant as they could. Those people didn’t need to worry about if they could afford the inflated prices of hand sanitizers and Clorox wipes (if they could be found). Having power and money meant having information and accesses. This meant that those who possessed these things, could have accesses to doctors for healthcare purposes but also to get information about what was happening in their local area. With the possession of money also came space. Besides disinfectants and good masks such as N95s or KN95s, space was the next most luxurious thing people could have. Having space meant that you and your families weren’t all crowded on top of each other even if that’s how many people felt like they were because of lockdown. Having space also meant that if one of your loved ones got COVID-19, there was an area for them to quarantine and not but the rest of the people in the house at risk. Power and money were what separated those who could afford to stay at home and be safe and have minimal disruption to their lives, and those who still had to leave the house every day, if they were some of the fortunate ones to have jobs and put their lives at risk to try and provide for their loved ones.
The way that gender was impacted by COVID-19, was that for lots of family’s stereotypical gender roles were reversed in some cases or even ceased for a bit. With everyone spending so much time at home, there was no more reason for any one person to be doing either the housework, looking after the children, or even doing all the cooking. While it is not just women that stay home with children, plenty of men to do, it is a stereotype that most women stay home with the kids and that the men work. Well with many people working from home or unfortunately being unemployed the jobs that typically might have fallen on mom became a mom and dad job. However, gender was not only impacted in these ways. While COVID-19 was already a hard, tough, and sad enough event domestic violence rose drastically during lockdown. Because people were forced to stay home, women especially since they are the dominant gender affected by domestic violence, had no option but to remain in the same environment as their abusers. This is not to say that men did not face the same situations but in America, 77% of domestic violence victims are female.
Race played a huge part in the treatment of those with COVID-19 as well as accessibility to masks, disinfectants, and other forms of PPE. Areas all around the country that were not primarily made up of white people, were hit the harder with COVID-19. These groups of people were not given or provided the same level of care or protections that those where were white did, during this crisis. People who were any race other than white were treated as second class citizens to those who were white. They tended to be forgotten about by the healthcare system or were not prioritized the same way those who were white were. The color of your skin during 2020 could have been the difference between living or dying due to COVID-19.
Religion was one of the biggest debates that surrounded the entire COIVD-19 pandemic. Religion was the cause for fights, violence, and even deaths of thousands of people. People used their belief in religion as a reason for why they did or did not believe in many parts of COIVD-19 crisis. One of the oldest debates in history is religion versus science, and this debate in modern times has never been so present in every part of the country and many parts of the world. Not only were people’s personal beliefs in religion playing a role in the chaos of the pandemic, but the attendance of religious gatherings such as church and temple causing issues as well. As a result of millions of people choosing to still attend religious gatherings, they were spreading the virus because of being in such close contact with many people. Even when there were executive orders in place prohibiting gatherings of over a certain size to prevent the spread of COVID-19, people still felt it was their right to go to these gatherings.
The COIVD-19 pandemic impacted and altered the lives of billions of people. There are lots of factors that played a part of making the pandemic better and making the pandemic worse. However, at the end of the day the ones that were the most prominent were power, gender, race, and religion.

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10/06/2021

Date Modified (Dublin Core)

10/27/2021
06/20/2022

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This item was submitted on October 6, 2021 by Noelle Roseman using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”: https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive

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