This week we asked our participants about vulnerability. What groups are being most impacted physically, financially, etc. by COVID-19?
–Jesse Smeal, Rome, Italy
I believe the most vulnerable groups are the elderly, homeless, and small/independent business owners. The elderly because they are extremely susceptible to the virus and have minimal support and help due to social distancing and movement restrictions. The homeless because they are more exposed to the virus and have little help available. Small business owners because they do not fall into any category to receive government help and they rely solely on the revenue from their business. They are mostly closed and have zero revenue.
–Lyudmila Skryabina, Moscow, Russia
As far as I know, unlike in Europe where the most vulnerable have been the elderly, in Russia more people between the ages of 18-45 have been infected.
–Emma Pratt, Tbilisi, Georgia
The ethnic minority communities were hit particularly hard early on. The first community cluster occurred in the Marneuli-Bolnisi area, where a large portion of the population are Armenian and Azeri. The language barrier may have made things worse, since locals don’t receive information from the Georgian media, which has generally been giving accurate and helpful information. Since then, the government’s website has been translated into Azeri, Armenian, Abkhaz, and Ossetian. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are huge question marks in their handling of the situation, which leaves many people vulnerable. The homeless population is also particularly at risk.
–Ann Merrill, Kyiv, Ukraine
The Ministry of Health posts updates and has a press briefing every day, so we know the stats quite well. As of early April, 54% of those infected are women and 49% men, which seems to be different from the trends in other countries where men have higher rates of infection. MinHealth also reports that the majority of people who have died had concomitant illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, etc). The initial infections were in Ukrainians who had returned from working in Italy and those with whom they had contact. Most recently, it has been sweeping through the monks at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, who refused to follow any quarantine practices until this week.
– Tatiana Shchytssova, Vilnius, Lithuania
The most vulnerable are doctors and teachers. Actually, all groups that must continue working in close contact or large groups are vulnerable.
<<Check back tomorrow for a special post about the situation migrants are facing in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the COVID-19 pandemic.