The world is approaching an awe-inspiring 500,000 cases, but the count is accelerating every day. Within a week or two, we’ll see a million cases or more. The fatality rate will skyrocket. Most of us are paying attention to our employment status, quality of insurance, and overall health. But it’s important to remember that some of us have to worry about these things on a daily basis — and then some.
For the LGBTQ community, times are especially tough.
While everyone else pays attention to the viral outbreak that causes the disease COVID-19, sometimes cases involving discrimination against the LGBTQ community fall through the cracks. Does it seem like no one is paying attention? You’re not alone.
And the potential for discrimination that goes unnoticed by authorities isn’t all. The community watches the pandemic with bated breath, noticing obvious parallels to the AIDS epidemic that affected it throughout the 80s, not the least of which is a president pretending that the illness isn’t really a big problem.
It’s almost worth noting that COVID-19 could be particularly damaging to the community as a whole. While rates of smoking, depression, drug use, and suicide are all decreasing with time, those rates are still among the highest of any minority demographic. Each of these represents an “underlying condition” that can make one much more susceptible to COVID-19, which has a relatively high fatality rate when compared to illnesses like the seasonal flu.
What can you do to help prevent spread among members of the community?
First and foremost, stop perusing apps like Grindr and Tinder. These only compel members to hook up. The close contact makes transmission much easier. Don’t go outdoors. Don’t see family or friends until notified it is okay to do so by the CDC. This crisis will not go away on its own, and the longer we avoid social distancing options, the longer we’ll have to do it.
Many of us currently feel that COVID-19 reactions have been overblown and that the disease isn’t really all that dangerous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fatality rates are tens of times higher than the seasonal flu. The underlying cause of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is far more contagious. It’s possible that its infectiousness eclipses even the Spanish flu, which was the deadliest pandemic in modern human history.
Should we fail to recognize the severity of the threat and act to stop it (as China and South Korea successfully did), then millions of people could pay the ultimate price. This is serious. We should treat it that way.