Monday with Ms. Marvel: COVID-19 responses


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on March 11, prompting President Trump to officially declare a national emergency and the district to suspend in-person classes for at least one week

It feels like our daily life has come to a sudden halt, but for many people, COVID-19 has more implications than just an illness, as the virus has highlighted the enormous inequalities that lower-income citizens face. 

Almost every single new system that we’re implementing to deal with the irregularities of life with the coronavirus depends on a citizen’s financial capability to adhere to said system. However, many citizens don’t have that ability, and they’re the ones who are going to suffer the most in these troubling times.

For example, as more and more districts across the country are closing down, many are going to switch to online classes. But what about the students who don’t have access to electronic devices at home? Or the households with multiple children and only one device? What are their options? 

Also, what about the single parents working more than one minimum wage job to make ends meet? Most minimum wage jobs are hands-on, like cashiers or restaurant wait staff. Those workers aren’t able to work from home, and they also can’t afford to go weeks without wages. What’s going to happen to them and their families?

Do these families take their kids to the library, if it’s even open, to keep up with classes, trading one potentially harmful public environment for another? Do workers with symptoms miss work and risk losing healthcare, or do they go in anyways, putting themselves and others in harm’s way just to have access to an insurance plan?

These are serious questions that real Americans are having to ask themselves and it’s become very clear as to how our existing systems are failing low-income families.

It’s hard to manage the spread of COVID-19 when 30 million Americans can’t afford any type of healthcare and 44 million more are under-insured, only being able to afford the simplest insurance plans, ones that won’t do much to shoulder the cost of treatment for the virus. 

Other countries such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have done a fantastic job of making sure corona tests are readily available for all people, a feat that has drastically reduced the spread of the virus. The United States needs to catch up and institute similar policies, and fast. 

We need effective policies that will support all American families because a citizen’s health and well-being, especially in the midst of a pandemic, shouldn’t rely on how much money they make. If the systems we’re implementing don’t benefit every single American regardless of their economic status, then they’re not working.