Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Chile and the U.S. Deal With Covid-19 Similarly

Bloomberg takes a really interesting look at Covid-19 in Chile, which has been hit hard. The bottom line is that the "stay at home" message is an inherently privileged one. 

What went wrong in Chile goes to the heart of the debate over lockdowns, which health experts now acknowledge work well for the haves but not for the have-nots. In the end, Chile’s virus fight seems to have fallen victim to the same factors that sparked crises in other emerging markets -- poverty, overcrowding and a massive off-the-books workforce. Staying home for long periods, the world has learned rather painfully, isn’t a real option for many.
I see so many parallels to the United States, where Latinos are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.  The affluent can stay home and still get paid, but that is a privilege that relatively few enjoy. Virtue-signalling messages and hashtags about staying home mask the true magnitude of the problem. 

Nonetheless, the common U.S. response of simply reopening doesn't address the problem either. People feel they can't stay home even if they're sick; too few people have access to affordable healthcare; people who go to work while schools are online have no childcare. The list goes on.

The Charlotte Spanish-language newspaper La Noticia recently ran a story about how Latinos are the hardest hit, yet the state has no strategy at all. Same problem in Chile:
“If the government is going to make decisions about a world it doesn’t know, then it should include people from that world in the decision-making process,” said Diego Pardow, executive president of the Espacio Público think tank. “The problem with this government is that it just surrounds itself with its own people.”
Governors in the U.S. get a lot of attention, but it's been on "re"opening and not on helping those who were always open. Those of us who work from our laptops tend to think the supermarkets should have all the same products as usual. But people are still picking, packing, shipping, etc. We hear news stories about, say, a meatpacking plant closing, and maybe we're pleased. We don't think about what the laid off workers--both sick and well--do afterward.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP