14th of October 2020

The corona virus is a phenomenon affecting all of us, privilege can neither prevent us from getting infected nor control how ill we get. The virus can not analyse manhood nor does it see skin colour, gender identity or sexuality. It surely does attack the economy (something I’m not going to discuss here and I believe we are all aware of already) but the virus does not attack individuals personally nor are the infected determined by identities or social status. The definition of social status is a broad concept and therefore I will merely chose few positions found in Icelandic society and mention how they can be affected by the pandemic.

First one is becoming too isolated due to the fact of not having many friends, no matter how social you are or how comfortable you are in social situations. Spending all this time alone without the power to choose to due to Covid-19.

Senior citizens living in nursing homes scarcely have full control of their own habits and situations nor aim for the living arrangements. Nursing homes have shortage of personnel, visits to the residents are kept to the bare minimum and in addition the personnel is breaking from excessive workload, and are therefor not able to use the same warmth and kindness as usual to comfort residents.

Marginalisation of groups of multicultural ethnicities tends to increase, the public has more time to troll online which makes it more difficult to escape racist remarks. Victims of racism are unable to meet with loved ones, comfort each others and ventilate their concerns — they isolate themselves and cease to trust their societies.

Queer people are missing the same opportunities as before to get to know themselves and others in same position. Lacking the chances to discuss love, in person with people they trust.

Existing restrictions for disabled individuals increase all the more and accessibility to assemblies decreases even further — the isolation of disabled people escalates.

Not to mention, until now it has been almost impossible for institutions to tailor environment to individuals or make exceptions when needed.

I know several disabled people having experienced rejection and ignorance when requesting the education and learning environment to be tailored to their physique and abilities. A person demanded participation in class through telecommunication equipment and was denied — but now, when able bodied people and mentally healthy people are affected by unmanageable situations —  the circumstances are adjusted and now there is telecom equipment to be found in all institutions.

People from risk groups are placing all their trust in the public to see them and for the public to understand anyone they meet can be at risk, because even though you are at less risk of becoming seriously ill, the same might not apply to the person you trampled in the line at the supermarket.

Our social status influences how we approach the pandemic and thereby reflects who we are as human beings.

Stating the obvious as can be seen in this piece, as subjective as it can be. I don’t have many friends, I work in healthcare, I am queer, disabled and a person of colour. I choose to not speak on behalf of individuals I don’t know enough nor their perspectives — therefore this is my point of view regarding social status and the virus.

Best regards,

Steinunn Anna

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COVID-19: The Virus and Social Status