The Marginalized and Covid-19

Over the last two years, Covid-19 has adversely affected systems all around the globe and is continuing to disrupt our normal lives. With the incorporation of the Covid-19 vaccines, however, there is hope for a safer and protected world. The ones affected the most by this highly contagious and life-threatening disease, mostly belong to the marginalized sectors of our society. The underprivileged communities were already affected more by other diseases because they are unable to afford good treatment. According to studies, diseases like influenza, tuberculosis are more common in low-income households as compared to high-income households. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit these already marginalized people in a severe and harsh way as compared to others. Let’s briefly look into it.

First, most of the members of the marginalized sector of the society work menial jobs, such as waiters, janitors, cleaners, etc. These jobs cannot be done remotely and they have to constantly interact with other people as well, which makes them more exposed to the virus and thus the chances of being infected become higher. Secondly, most of the underprivileged do not have that much awareness about diseases, even if they do, they do not care about getting treatment, because if they do so, it would disrupt their work and they may even lose their job. Because of this unawareness and limited living space, they also do not practice isolation, if exposed to contagious diseases, which in turn affects their health negatively and even exposes others around them to the disease, making situations much worse. Even if they want to get the treatment, they are not able to afford the same facilities and perks as a person with a high income and thus their treatment is slower.

Thirdly, almost all the members of the marginalized sector of the society live in narrow spaces, and especially in under-developed countries, they have big colonies, with thousands of people living in small, unhygienic, overly crowded areas with almost no sanitation. This has been one of the main reasons why the underprivileged have been affected the most by the pandemic. Fourthly, because of living in poverty for generations, this group of people has weakly developed systems in their bodies, especially the immune system. The fight against other diseases too mostly depends on the immune system, while in the case of Covid, solely depends on it. The weaker the immune system, the lower are the chances of survival, and this has been one of the main reasons for more deaths in the marginalized sector of the society as compared to the rest. Lastly, most of these workers work on daily wages, especially in third world countries, and due to the pandemic, most of the work has either been stopped, slowed down, or postponed. This has caused them to lose their jobs, and they are living with no income, and have become totally dependent on the other sectors of the society.

What can we do as a society?

Although it is the responsibility of the state and those in charge of governing to make sure about the development and support of the underprivileged, however, as a society it is our responsibility too, to take care of those, who have started to depend on us for their survival, more than ever. It is our duty to help those people as much as we can, in terms of money, food, shelter, and whatever we can do. Sometimes, even words of encouragement can make someone feel better. They should be provided with economical, social, and mental support through these hard times, and policies and interventions should be devised by the authorities to make the costs of food, living, and treatment lower for them, so they can be able to lead a better life and seek a better future.