We are not Living through the Pandemic Together

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Falan Bennett
Arjumand Siddiqi



The unequal burden of the COVID-19 pandemic across racial groups has been driven by longstanding and current economic and social inequities. Members of communities that are socially and economically marginalized are more likely to be exposed to, become infected with, and die from the novel coronavirus. In Toronto, these communities are largely composed of Black and Brown people who, due to anti-Black racism, are also more likely to be immigrants and low-income. Tis commentary explores the causative roles of capitalism and racism as the driving forces behind he various COVID-19 disparities. We examine the function of pre-existing and new Canadian policies in establishing and maintaining adverse social and economic circumstances for Black people. It is through these systemic forms of disenfranchisement that pandemic inequities can develop and persist. Policy interventions are then discussed as ways to mitigate and rectify the social injustices that cause pandemic-related health inequities.