As we're all making adjustments to our daily lives to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and prevent the spread of Covid-19, a couple things come to mind that we wanted to share.
The importance of advancing human rights and worker rights
Like almost every challenge humanity faces, the spread of disease disproportionately impacts those living below or near the poverty line. Supporting businesses that empower workers and pay a living wage can drastically improve the quality of life for so many. And that can mean safer work, safer homes and communities, better education, and better care for the sick and elderly in their families.
Right now so many people here in the States are waking up to the importance of paid sick leave. If people live paycheck to paycheck and don't have protected paid sick time off, they simply can't afford to stay home sick. It's easy to see how this could contribute to the acceleration of the spread of a new virus like covid-19. It also brings home the important of quality healthcare as a human right, which isn't just important because it's the right thing to do. It's important because it's beneficial to all of us to ensure the sick get proper care and diseases aren't allowed to spread.
Fight fear-driven racism!
Yes, this coronavirus originated in China. And yes, the spread of the disease is more advanced in some other countries like Italy and Iran. But just because someone has an accent or looks like their ancestry might be from one of these regions, that doesn't mean they are any more likely to be infected. It's a ridiculous way of thinking and we know you know that. But sadly, there are some folks who will come to that conclusion.
So let's band together to fight that way of thinking. If you encounter racist sentiments or misinformation, don't be afraid to call it out and counter it with facts.
The power of online activism
Taking action to limit opportunity for the virus to spread is one of the most important things we can do to help reduce infection and protect people who are the most at risk -- older folks and people with compromised immunity or respiratory conditions. That's why we're seeing announcements about corporate and cultural events being cancelled around the world.
There's a good case to be made that right now is not the best time to assemble in public. So let's continue the fight online. You can help inform others and stop the spread of misinformation, whether it's about coronavirus, climate change, gun control, or whatever cause matters to you the most.
Stay healthy everyone!