The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for everyone, but some groups are having an especially challenging time. These at risk groups are more likely to face health problems and financial challenges during the pandemic.
Lower Income Groups
Economic inequality was already a problem before COVID, and the virus has made it far worse. People living in poverty are disproportionately affected by every aspect of the virus. Since lower-income people often work hourly jobs in the hospitality industry, they are the group with the highest reduction in job hours. The lack of job availability is made worse by the fact that they do not have savings to help through times of financial hardship. And since lower-income people have poorer health and less access to healthcare, they are more likely to get seriously ill if they do catch COVID-19. Without jobs that provide good healthcare insurance and paid sick leave, people who do get sick end up even more impoverished.
It is no surprise that one of the demographics most affected by COVID is senior citizens. People aged 55 or older were eight times more likely to die from COVID, and those 65 years older were 62 times more likely to die from the disease. This has put a huge strain on older people. Because they have such a high mortality rate if they do catch the disease, seniors have to be especially cautious. Many are having to choose between their own safety and their financial or mental health. This inequality is especially noticeable in seniors who already have chronic health conditions. Those who have diabetes, cardiac disease, and other similar conditions are finding it impossible to hold down a job during the pandemic.
Women are being disproportionately affected by a lot of the strain associated with the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, women did more household chores, errands, childcare, and other unpaid labor than their male counterparts, regardless of how many hours the woman worked. With many families doing virtual school now, the amount of unpaid labor has significantly increased. In addition to working a full-time job, many mothers are now having to handle extensive amounts of childcare and schooling.