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Sociology Assignment: Impact Of Covid-19 On Racial & Health Inequality In US


Task: Write a sociology assignment addressing the following questions:
In what ways has the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated existing American inequalities?
Why have people of color in United States died at such higher rates?
In what ways has COVID threatened the process of women in the United States?
Do you think this crisis will change how Americans think about inequality? Or how the US government deals with inequality?


In What Ways Has the COVID-19 Crisis Exacerbated Existing American Inequalities? Discuss in detail in this sociology assignment.
The existing and growing American inequalities are facing the worst phase due to covid-19 pandemic. Though almost ten million Americans have lost their jobs as an affect of economic fallout, yet black people, women, mothers, Hispanics andblue-collar low wage workers are at significantly worse situation.As stated by Van Dornetal., this Covid-19 crisis not only exacerbated the existing American economic inequalities, rather it also revealed alarming disparities of infection and recovery rates from Covid-19 by socioeconomic status, gender, race and ethnicity. For instance, the existing poverty rate has increased among the lowest income groups residing over San Francisco Bay area.

On other hand people who are working as ‘front line workers’ or as ‘essential workers’ such as health staff, hotel workers, custodial staff and grocery store workers are considered as low-income groups and these are the people who interact with people face to face. Therefore, this existing structural inequality is now facing the worst scenario due to covid-19.

Black people are generally segregated from other population and do not get enough health care services and monetary coverages from even government. Covid-19 crisis has just exacerbated the issue. On the other hand, while half of the white Americans have regained their jobs, one third of the black people could recover their jobs.

Why Have peopleof Color in United States Died at Such Higher Rates?

It has been noticed that infection rates and death rates are disproportionately high among black peoples or African American origins compared to other population or ethnicity. For instance, three quarter deaths in Milwaukee due to Covid-19 pandemic are of African American.

It is a fact that a major part of this community of black peoples are involved as “essential workers” to earn their bread such as custodial staff, health care workers, public transit employees and retail shop employees. Therefore, they do not have the privilege to stay at home and maintaining social distance, rather they interact face to face with many people regularly. This structural racism is the reason that black people died at higher rates in United States due to this contagious virus.

According to Perry etal., racial and health inequalities are always there in America, Covid-19 pandemic just exacerbated the issues. Another undeniable fact is these black or brown people are the part of the residentially segregated communities. Often the government of the United States do not take enough precautions to mitigate the risk of Covid 19 spread among these minor communities such as Latino community, Black Community, Native American community and Immigrant community.

In What Ways Has COVID Threatened the Process of Women in the United States?

The front-line workers who work as health care staffs, cleaning services, child care workers and grocery employees are generally women. For instance, according to the report of North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, 65% of these front-line workers are women and 30% of them are black.

Though more than 70% of health workers are women and these women are proved to be first responders as compared to their male counterparts, yet they are the victims of gender pay gap in the health sector. On the other hand, women who are marginalized and poor faced higher risk of Covid-19 fatalities as they need to work outside for their livelihood, yet they did not receive enough health care from their family members and governments (Viveiros, Nelia and Amy). It is also a fact that women generally earn less and hold less secured jobs, therefore, even after the country recovered from recession, many women are unable to recover their jobs.

major issue that only women had to face is the burden of domestic work and unpaid care taking has suddenly exploded. Evendomestic violence against women has increased as the quarantine system has made the people to be at home.

Do You Think This Crisis Will Change How Americans Think About Inequality?

The way of thinking about inequality among Americans should be changed as according to many economists the economic recovery rate diverged as “K shaped”. As it is noticed during this Covid crisis that only 52% workers who are college graduate can work from home, whereas only 12% with high school degree can work from their home. In same issue, white peoples are luckierto work from their home, compared to the black people as black people are polarized, low educated and low wage workers. According to Cappelen, Alexander etal., Americans will also realize the issue that economic stability divides them unequally. As they saw wealthy peoples have political influence to get medical support and lifeline in the time of Covid crisis.

This crisis also revealed that higher rates of job loss happened among poor and black Americans. As in America health care coverage has been tied to employment, that means losing job can stop one’s right to medical care. Women are more vulnerable to loss their medical rights as they often involved in less secured jobs.

As Americans saw such brutal issues related to inequality very closely during this Covid pandemic, they definitely will change their thinking about inequality and will be more compassionate towards black, poor and marginalised people.

How the US Government Deals with Inequality?

As the front-line industries were doomed at the peak phase of this Covid 19 pandemic, therefore, many marginalised and black people lost their jobs. Even now while the country is recovering from this crisis, they are not returning to work at the same rates as their white counter parts. According to many economists, though the economic recession is almost recovered with lucrative benefits for the white-collar workers, yet front line workers or essential workers who are considered to be middle or low wage workers are still at a long way away from recovery.

According to Dodds, Klaus, etal., in order to deal with this inequality, government took some actions such as maintaining education and health services equally for both black and white people, providing care for care givers, engaging women’s right network and ensuring gender data availability to mitigate gender bias and domestic violence through enough flow of pivotal information. Government arranges special compensatory payments for the female labour force. Services for the victims of domestic violence are considered as the “essential services” by the government.

Reference list
Cappelen, Alexander W., et al. “Solidarity and fairness in times of crisis.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 186 (2021): 1-11
Dodds, Klaus, et al. “The COVID-19 pandemic: territorial, political and governance dimensions of the crisis.” (2020): 289-298 Perry, Brea L., Brian Aronson, and Bernice A. Pescosolido. “Pandemic precarity: COVID- 19 is exposing and exacerbating inequalities in the American heartland.” Sociology assignmentProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118.8 (2021).
Van Dorn, Aaron, Rebecca E. Cooney, and Miriam L. Sabin. “Covid- 19 exacerbating inequalities in the US. “Lancet (London, England) 395. 10232 (2020): 1243.
Viveiros, Nelia, and Amy E. Bonomi. “Novel Coronavirus (COVID- 19): Violence, reproductive rights and related health risks for women, opportunities for practice innovation.” Journal of family violence (2020): 1-5.


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