Corona and social inequality

The poor and the rich are not equally exposed to the health, economic and psychosocial impact of the corona pandemic. This applies globally, but also in those countries that are generally considered prosperous. Commentators describe how the state of emergency is pitilessly exposing social inequalities.

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Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

Not all of us are equal before the virus

Social differences are becoming all the more obvious under the lockdown, Der Tagesspiegel points out:

“In the next few weeks white collar and intellectual workers will be doing their mental work from their home offices – thanks to babysitters and sales assistants and police officers and lorry drivers. Some children will still be able to play in gardens even under the curfew – while others will be sharing an apartment with five or six other people. Some parents will order educational material and work through it with their children at home. Others simply won't be able to cope. There will be people who have money to spare – and the lower third of the German population who have no money saved up because there's never anything left over at the end of the month.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Lack of housing can be deadly

At least six of the fifteen people who have died of Covid-19 in Stockholm hospitals so far are of Somali origin. The deep divide between rich and poor is clearly visible in the healthcare statistics, Aftonbladet complains:

“There's an 18-year discrepancy in life expectancy between Stockholm's richest and poorest neighbourhoods. ... The fact that so many of those who have died are Swedish-Somalis is the brutal consequence of a class society in which people live cramped together because there isn't enough housing. This situation calls for political solutions that must be addressed once the pandemic is over. What's needed is more affordable housing and a society that functions throughout the country. No one should have to die because of class differences and cramped living conditions.”