What does privilege in a pandemic even mean? How can someone’s economic status prevent them from getting a virus? I was confused too and it didn’t make much sense to me.
However, as my city became a Covid-19 hot spot, I started to understand. My husband and I live here for the diversity and there is tons of it here. This means there are lots of multi-family housing options that may not have private entrances or outdoor space. And many hard-working people who have to go into work in order to perform their job. These kinds of situations make you more susceptible to getting sick.
My husband and I both have jobs that can be done from home. I actually worked from home most of the time well before Covid because I had that level of flexbility. My husband just grabbed his laptop and set up at the dining room table. Neither of us have *needed* to go anywhere.
This bit of privilege about working from home just for you, but what about kids? It affects them as well. We have my parents helping us care for our daughter since daycare centers closed PLUS we can work from home so if we need to watch her, we are here. The reality is, if we didn’t have help from my parents we would have the means to afford a nanny or caregiver. There we go with the privilege again, I don’t need childcare because I can work from home and if I did I could afford it. It’s just not an option for people who a. have to work out of the house and b. work a minimum wage job.
Then I think about schooling and kids that have to do remote school (for their safety) but don’t have reliable internet or a computer or the means to hire a tutor for extra help.
The list goes on… and it’s always hard to admit you have a leg up. But that’s the first step. What am I going to do about it? The first thing I have done is helped a college student set up a tutoring service where we are going to offer scholarships for students who can’t afford it.
I know that is not enough and I have more to do…I am not sure what *just* yet but we need to take action and writing about it isn’t enough
Does privilege in a pandemic exist? Yes. It has become apparent to me that privilege exists almost all the time.