The most enduring images from the COVID-19-related shutdowns and quarantines are typically of empty streets, schools, and offices. Concerts and festivals have been canceled, travel has been dramatically curtailed, and for many, the world has been compressed into a computer screen. But for a large number of people in marginalized and underserved populations, the effects of the pandemic are more deeply felt. People in these groups may suffer from preexisting conditions such as chronic comorbidities,diabetes, asthma, and more.
The last few months have highlighted long-standing and deep-rooted injustices in the US. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color by nearly every measure: lives lost, risks taken by essential workers, economic hardship, etc. And the murders, lynchings, and brutalizing of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people over the last several centuries—at the hands of the police and white supremacists—have reminded us of the urgent and undeniable issues of systemic and institutional racism, state-sponsored violence, and deep-rooted bias and prejudice in our country.