“The coronavirus is much more hard if you’re poor:” the blunt message from a BBC journalist challenging the idea that the pandemic affects all alike


Emily Maitlis

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Emily Maitlis is a presenter of the program Newsnight of the BBC.

“We say that the coronavirus is the ‘great leveler’. It is not. It is much, much harder if you are poor”.

With these words the journalist of the BBC Emily Maitlis the program started Newsnight the night of the 8th of April.

“The language about the covid-19 at times it has felt trite and misleading“continued Maitlis.

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Here you can see the video of Maitlis (in English):

“This disease does not survive through strength and strength of characterno matter what they tell us the colleagues of the prime minister,” said the journalist.

The segment Maitlis, which went viral, caught the attention about how, even though all humans are vulnerable to the covid-19, a sector of the society is in increased risk of infection and at a disadvantage to deal with the disease.

What is the “great leveler”?

When the covid-19 began to expand to become a pandemic with reports of cases of contagion worldwide, left to float terms like “the great leveler”, “the great equalizer” or “the great equalizer“.

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Many people are forced to continue working in the midst of the pandemic.

These expressions refer to the coronavirus puts in risk the life of any human beingregardless of your ethnic origin, your income level or place to dwell in.

A case that caused a stir on the use of this expression was the singer Madonna.

The artist posted a video in which he reflected on the coronavirus while taking a bath in your tub, in the middle of flower petals while the background and listened to piano music.

“The covid-19 will not matter how rich you are, how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old are you..,” said Madonna.

  • “It is carrying out an experiment terrible in real time: what system (democratic or authoritarian) respond better to the epidemic”

“It is the great equalizer… it Is terrible because he has made us to all the same in many ways, and it is wonderful because it has made us equal in many ways”.

The video received criticism, after which time the singer blotted out of their networks.

These reviews indicated that not all people have the same advantages at the time of coping with the disease, and that is the point that the journalist Maitlis wanted to emphasize in his speech.

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There are sectors of society which are most vulnerable to a pandemic.

“The disease is not a great leveler in which the consequences for all, rich or poor, are the same,” said Maitlis.

The reality of the pandemic

In your program, Maitlis referred to people as bus drivers, grocery workers, shopkeepers and health workers, who continue in their labors in the midst of the pandemic and are more likely to become infected because they are more exposed.

The journalist added that “they are disproportionately members worst paid of our workforce.”

Maitlis also noted to people living in small houses, for those who the quarantine makes it more difficult; or those who do manual jobs, who can’t work from home.

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In the united States, for example, have begun to emerge, statistics of how in major cities like New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, the population of origin african and hispanic it is the one that shows the highest percentage of hiv infections and deaths due to covid-19.

The authorities of that country have referred to this situation as a “exacerbation of the disparity of health”.

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Experts agree that the coronavirus may not be considered a “great equalizer”.

Experts point out that these sectors of society, as well as migrants, and undocumented persons, are at a disadvantage to a public calamity.

“The coronavirus is not the great equalizer,” he wrote in a recent article The Conversation Robertha K. Timothy, a professor in the School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

“I think that the actions and omissions of the global leaders in charge of the fight against the pandemic covid-19 will reveal the historical impacts and current colonial violence and the ongoing health disparities between african, indigenous, persons identified by their race and marginalized,” says the teacher.

Maitlis concluded his reflection with a question that arises in the midst of the difficult times that humanity is living: “What kind of social agreement it would be necessary to avoid the inequality become even more severe?”.

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