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Minorities and Health during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Health Inequalities and Discrimination

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Author:
Katharina Crepaz
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Abstract

When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Europe in February 2020, solidarity was one of the most frequently invoked concepts. However, despite the narrative of everyone being a potential target for the virus, some groups, like minorities, were more susceptible to the virus. This can mainly be traced back to health inequalities, stemming from differences in social determinants of health: low socioeconomic status, crowded housing conditions that make social distancing impossible, employment in essential jobs with no remote working possibilities, and lack of access to health care, just to name the most prominent ones. In addition to health inequalities, minorities were also disproportionately affected by discrimination and racism, at the individual, group-related and systemic level. Addressing health inequalities, racism and discrimination is therefore the most important step in reducing minorities’ vulnerability to Covid-19 and constitutes both a foundation for societal cohesion as well as an important public health concept in the face of potential future pandemics.

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