Being Safe During a Pandemic is a Privilege

Image by Timo Meyer

Another week past. Another week of the coronavirus ravaging our world.

As we take a look at which communities have been hit the hardest, it has been ethnic, low-income minority neighborhoods all around the world.

In London, a third of the patients are ethnic minorities.

In Chicago, 70% of the COVID-19 Deaths are Black.

And in New York City, the novel coronavirus has hurt low-income and ethnic neighborhoods the most. Out of all the boroughs in New York City, the most affluent, Manhattan, has the least number of cases.

But is this surprising?

The reality is, staying healthy during a pandemic is a privilege that many of us take for granted.

It is a privilege to afford healthcare in this country. Every month, Oscar charges me $545.44 for their lowest healthcare plan with an insanely high deductible to cover catastrophic events. In New York City, making more than $24,000 a year disqualifies an applicant from any healthcare subsidiaries. Middle-class workers are forced to decide between healthcare premiums or paying for rent in a city with skyrocketing prices.

It is a privilege to practice social distancing, especially within our own homes. To afford our own space, our own room, and our own bed is a luxury that most middle and low-income families don’t have the opportunity to relish. When someone at home becomes sick, the lack of free space directly contributes to the spread of the virus.

It is a privilege to have the money to afford to stock up on food and supplies, but even more than that, to stay afloat amidst unemployment and uncertainty. When households are left without a stream of income, family members are left with no option but to venture out and find ways of making rent, feeding starving bellies, and staying clean.

And it is a privilege to have access to news. Not only that but also having the education to discern biased media becomes paramount in sifting through what is also a pandemic of headlines on the internet. I’ve had to set aside many of my favorite news sources as they have become inundated with shock-factor headlines. (I am primarily getting my news right now through Reddit, crowd-sourced news platform. I highly recommend r/Coronavirus)

At this point — I don’t know what is more devastating. The thousands of lives that are lost every day or the fact that we as a nation let it get this bad. Regardless of our current president, our broken healthcare system, limited protective supplies, short-staffing of medical workers, and egregious insurance system reflects a torn society. If we cannot stand for and protect our own health, then what are we living for?

My advice for this week:

Stay safe and healthy.

Another day finished is another day closer to the end of this pandemic. I am sending you so much love.

I host a podcast called Yellow Glitter, mindfulness through the eyes and soul of a gay Asian. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Overcast, and TuneIn.

Along with a bit of weekly mindfulness, I send out my favorite things I discover each week on my email newsletter at Mindful Moments.

Thanks for reading! Until next time.

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Steven Wakabayashi

Steven Wakabayashi

Instruction: Mix equal parts of life hacker, designer, developer and productivity nerd. Sprinkle a dash of coffee and cupcakes. Best served fresh.