During the Spanish flu, deaths tended to cluster around low-income neighborhoods. While that may sound obvious, it pointed to a vulnerability in disease control methods: By focusing on eliminating large groups at the theatre, stores, and other places of privilege, we’re ignoring the neighborhood-level vulnerabilities among people of lower socioeconomic status. These people are going to work, then coming home and spreading it to their families and neighborhoods.
I’m practicing social distancing (although I was already a full-time freelancer who worked from home), but I do think that we need much more than simply telling people to stay home. We need paid sick leave. That’s one reason I became a freelancer: I have chronic illness, and I could never get enough paid sick leave in the workplace.
Thanks for writing.