Edward Waitzer: The pandemic is increasing the gap between the haves and have nots [Globe & Mail]

Ed Waitzer - Publications

The pandemic is increasing the gap between the haves and have nots

Edward Waitzer & Jean-Victor Wittenberg

Opinion contributed to the Globe and Mail / Published May 19, 2020

Sequestered in our homes. Threatened by a virus that can hurt any and all of us. Media advertising and posters encourage collective responsibility and support our morale in these days of social isolation, loneliness and loss of human interactions by suggesting that, “We are in this together.” We are not.

Who gets COVID most: the old, the weak, the poor, the underprivileged, and those who have been stressed in their lives. Who dies of COVID most: the very same groups. Those who have fewer resources to get help. Those who cannot afford to stop working or who have to keep working face-to-face to provide food, to clean up garbage, to take care of the old and infirm.

We who have (and have grown up with) supports and resources are the privileged who feel we are in it together. We have not been unduly stressed.

Stress kills. When a parent is stressed, the unborn baby shows signs. When children are exposed to ongoing, challenging, toxic levels of stress, they show signs. The signs appear early (within weeks and months of birth) and manifest throughout the lifespan – changes in our chromosomes, shorter lives, increased physical and mental illnesses, substance problems, immune deficiencies and more.

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