April is Celebrate Diversity Month. Diversity includes race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, status, physical abilities, beliefs, or ideologies. We, at Cold FAid, celebrate with you these differences. Having open discussions about people’s similarities and differences increases the inclusivity and acceptance of others. It promotes a deeper understanding of the experiences that people around you have lived, enjoyed, cherished, and/or endured. Partnership International further outlines the importance of cultural diversity as well as ways to support it.
In acknowledgment of the present state of affairs with the pandemic, we are saddened by the news of the struggles people are facing, particularly minorities. The coronavirus does not discriminate, but it also does not affect us all equally. As statistics are demonstrating, the virus highlights existing inequality issues disparities between different racial, socio-economic, and ethnic groups. Inequalities in reference to:
- access to healthcare,
- access to telecommunications (particularly to permit working at home),
- job security,
- household physical space (particularly with multi-generational households) and
- health status (ie. asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity)
are all magnified with COVID-19. More minorities are essential workers in positions/places carrying a higher risk of exposure, such as manufacturing workers, grocery attendants, delivery personnel, etc. In jails and detention centers where racial and ethnic minority groups are over-represented, COVID-19 has the advantage. Based on CNN reports, more COVID-19 hot spots have been in black and brown communities. The CDC has provided protocols and recommendations in order to help address needs within high-risk populations.
We are all in this together. We must rejoice in our diversity as a whole, as Americans and as members of the world community. By understanding and engaging with diverse populations on social, economic, scientific, and political levels, we shall get through this successfully.