Coronavirus Could Crush the Poor – US News

COVID-19 could catch fire among the nation’s low-income residents, experts say, but with the crisis comes the opportunity for a just response.

A makeshift homeless camp in downtown Salem, Ore. (Photo: Andrew Selsky)

US News — The protocols for helping stop the spread of the novel coronavirus are by now familiar: Wash your hands frequently, avoid crowds and telecommute.

For millions of homeless, low-income or disabled people, however, running water can be a luxury, remote work isn’t an option and social distancing in a shelter or densely packed public housing is next to impossible. Never mind the difficulty of self-isolation or getting medical care for coronavirus concerns.

As a result, conditions like those in some of the nation’s largest cities, including COVID-19 hot zones such as Seattle, New York and San Francisco, could accelerate the spread of the potentially deadly virus through the nation’s most vulnerable populations, according to homelessness activists, housing officials and advocates for low-income communities.

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