When I was a kid I was thought there is one planet for human race. It’s called planet-earth. But now that I am older I realized that is a lie. There are two planets not one. One planet is for the reach, another for the poor. And COVID-19 is lot more dangerous in one of these planets. This is income inequality and it’s a bid deal right now.
For the next few paragraphs I want to take you on a journey around the world, to show you just how different these two planets are. This journey starts in Brazil, here millions of people live in Favela’s. It’s a slum build on mountains where the people are poor, electricity goes out all the time living conditions are vary basic. And this slum is literally right next to the rice neighborhood with tennis courts, pools and lots of space. This is income inequality, is one sad image. Yes we are all in this together but COVID 19 is much more dangerous in theses packed houses.
Moving on to San Francisco, San Francisco is one of the richest city in the world, where a fancy ice cream cost 7 dollar. They make it by minimizing the crystals between the ice cream molecules so that it becomes extra creamy but right out side the fancy shop you will see the homelessness. In San Francisco the top 1% and the bottom 1% percent live in the same city but they don’t live together. In face they rarely interact. (San Francisco homeless count goes from bad to worse, jumping 40% from 2019)
The income inequalitymcan literally kill you. In South Africa you will observe the worst inequality of life. Between the black and the whites, it’s where villas are built right next to slum and inside those slums millions of black people live. Some of them got public bathrooms only five years ago. These slums are so crumped that is almost impossible to maintain social distancing and stay safe. By now its vary obvious we have one planet for rich and another planet for the poor.
In India, in Mumbai if you will check in five star hotel and open the window and you will find the slums of Mumbai. The hotels are built in the land that used to be slums. And in those slums COVID-19 spreads much faster that it does in a 5 star hotel.
In rural India you will find caste-based inequality. In a village where upper caste families lives with all the basic facilities and in a clean area while the lower caste people live in the outskirt of the village and struggles for vary basic facilities. And these lower caste people often have one room and have to share with more that four to five people and often that single room is used for the cooking. They even does not access to the public drinking water facilities and public toilets even they can’t get medical facilities because of the impurity concept associated with their castes. So in this unequal social systems COVID-19 will attach the lower caste people than the upper caste people.
In our little planet we actually want similar things but our lives are not the same especially during the pandemic. Form India to Brazil to San Francisco to South Africa to Kenya COVID 19 is lot more dangerous for the poor. It’s much harder when you don’t have public bathroom. It’s much harder when people live in cramped areas. It’s much harder when people don’t have access to hospitals. This is not supposed to make hate the rich. I have no problem with rich people. I have a problem with extreme poverty. Why are we ignoring it? Why is this not in everyone’s newsfeed? Especially right now. I don’t know how to fix income inequality but I do know if we want to beat the VOVID 19, then we need one planet instead of two, right now. And that should be planet earth.