Gaza and Iran show that coronavirus is not the ‘great equalizer’

Palestinian artists work on a sand sculpture depicting the earth with a message reading “Stay Home” along a beach in Gaza City on 31 March (photo: AFP)
Levelling the playing field requires critically urgent measures, such as lifting the siege on Gaza and ending sanctions on Iran

By Nada Elia | Middle East Eye | Apr 15, 2020

Levelling the playing field requires that we demand critically urgent measures, such as lifting the siege on Gaza and ending the sanctions on Iran.

When Chris Cuomo, the popular news anchor on CNN, tested positive for Covid-19, his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, stressed that the virus is a “great equalizer” that knows no age, gender or race.

“Everyone is subject to this virus. It is the great equalizer,” the governor told reporters. “I don’t care how smart, how rich, how powerful you think you are; I don’t care how young, how old. This virus is the great equalizer.”

I do not intend to minimize Cuomo’s concern for his brother, and wish the latter a speedy and full recovery. But I do disagree strongly with his description of the virus as an equalizer, simply because no one is immune to it.

Exacerbating the impacts
Grassroots organizers and activists immediately understood that the more marginalized communities would be the hardest hit. In addition to pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes, a plethora of socioeconomic and political circumstances exacerbate the impact of the virus on those who fall sick.

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