Corona Notes: Spread By Rich It Is Hurting Poor The Most

California: My dad sings Kishore Kumar songs. My sister makes goofy dance videos. My mom and I go on long evening walks every day. We eat meals together and watch movies and make each other laugh. We are a crazy family but we keep each other sane.

Well, this wasn’t the routine a month back when we came home to California for our spring break. We haven’t returned to New York since. New York is where my sister and I live.


I remember the day California first declared ‘shelter in place’. My sister and I panicked as we had no idea how we’d survive confined at home. In the beginning it was stressful coping with the very idea of a lockdown. The fact that we wouldn’t be able to pursue our vacation plans. Of going out to meet old friends, taking mom and  dad out to our favourite restaurants and simply going on long drives in the avenues my sister and I cycled merrily as kids. It was simply unthinkable that the world would come to a standstill and all the noise and bustle we were used to would evaporate, leaving behind an eerie silence; broken only by news about mounting figures of positive cases and deaths caused by an invisible virus.

Now, four weeks have passed and we have adapted. My dad and I work from home and my sister attends lectures on Zoom. My mom is unemployed since schools have shut down so she cooks us yummy meals every day. I feel sad for the people that don’t have family or friends to talk to. In New York, mental health hotlines are being used more than ever by those experiencing loneliness or suicidal thoughts. Around the US, people have lost lives and jobs. Many don’t have the money to buy meals. Domestic abuse victims and substance users are stuck in unsafe homes. This pandemic was spread by the rich as they flew around the world and now it is hurting the poor the most.

Knowing this reality makes me less upset about being stuck at home. At least I have a safe home to stay in.

(The writer is pursuing Masters in HealthCare Administration from Columbia University) 


Ipsita Praharaj

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  • Good to feel your concern for the poor. Does it mean that there is no social security for the poor, homeless, unemployed in USA?
    In pandemic like situations, here in India, there is food and shelter for the poor, homeless, daily wage earners both by Government and Non-profit organisations across urban, rural areas. Even, monetary benefits to Thier bank accounts directly by government. Under public distribution system, card holders have got rice, dal, wheat and oil for next three months.
    But still few are left/ struggling for food having no registration under social security system.
    But there is really immediate concern for unemployeds as hardly any scheme in place or who might have lost their jobs.
    What is that substance users, are they drug addicts??
    Here in India, so far no domestic violence is reported yet but there is hotline number for reporting; might be very few.
    By and large, there is really substantial decrease in pollution, theft, road accident, loot, rape, diseases..
    Pandemic has brought new friends, relations more closer, positivity in mind to deal with situations with scarce limited resources, loneliness, away from home, family .... You got opportunity of experiencing how difficult and challenging being in health/ medical service profession being a student now.
    Have a good day. Stay home stay safe with family'.

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