This fall, we face new challenges as COVID-19 overlaps with the flu season and continues to spread across the United States and the world. We must stay vigilant about protecting ourselves, our friends and families, and others around us. At the same time, people are experiencing pandemic fatigue and need new reasons and reinforcements to keep up protective behaviors.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Conditions such as stay-at-home orders, wearing masks in public and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression affect all of us in different ways.
Although we cannot truly compare COVID-19 with HIV, there are similarities worth exploring. As the COVID-19 epidemiological data pours in, we have learned that communities of color are at heightened risk for hospitalization and death. With the reality that the economic fallout affects minority communities more than anyone else, it is clear the odds are against us yet again. We have seen this story play out throughout the course of the HIV epidemic, with LGBTQ, black and Latinx communities enduring the brunt of the disease’s burden. These health disparities are the result of structural inequities that our nation has not yet found the resolve to address. So, just as we did in the early days of HIV, we must arm ourselves with knowledge and a community-driven purpose to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19.
COVID-19 shines a spotlight on inequalityWritten by
I started to shake with chills, my face became flushed, my temperature soared. The persistent dry coughing I had been experiencing, which I had ascribed to allergies, became intense and, at times, painful. It was Friday the 13th and my luck had turned. It all happened so quickly, as if a switch had been turned from off to on. It was less than two weeks from the first reported case of COVID-19 in New York City.
COVID-19: We are all in this togetherWritten by
As the COVID-19 pandemic expands at an exponential pace among the world’s population, it is increasingly clear that we are all in this together and need to work hard to cultivate a sense of global community. Our connected world has achieved decades of unprecedented prosperity and health gains. Through connectedness at many levels, including trade, industry, education, research, services and travel/hospitality, humanity has, indeed, become a global village. It is this same connectedness, augmented by a dramatic increase in international travel over the past decade, that facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19 to all corners of the world. Now, we must use this same connectivity to mount a sustainable, comprehensive, global response to the pandemic.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating a humanitarian and economic crisis. Amid the chaos, though, lies a simple preventive practice: handwashing with soap. During times of crisis, we must remember that handwashing with soap is a powerful tool to combat infectious diseases like COVID-19, and it is crucial for us to sustain handwashing practices and innovations once the pandemic has ended. Private-sector engagement, especially through public-private partnerships like the Global Handwashing Partnership, can play a significant role in developing immediate and long-term infectious disease solutions.