DESPITE HOLLOW presidential assurances to the contrary, the coronavirus is likely to proliferate in the United States. The unfortunate condition of our country’s health care system will exacerbate the damage.
The coronavirus will not spare any demographic group. This includes the uninsured food service worker for whom seeing a doctor is cost prohibitive and the underinsured nursing home aide who can’t afford health insurance deductibles and copays. It includes the working mother who drops her sick child off at daycare because she can’t afford time off from work to care for that child. The coronavirus will also affect the undocumented mother fearful of being deported if she seeks medical care for her child or herself.
Those with coronavirus and exposed individuals will continue to serve our food in restaurants, care for our elderly parents in nursing facilities, provide us with goods and services in our shops and homes, and sit next to our children in school.
Universal health care and improved sick leave policies would go a long way toward preventing or mitigating epidemics in this country. These advancements would not only provide desperately needed medical care to those who lack access today, but also would promote public health — the health of our children, our friends, our neighbors and ourselves. What better way to promote the general welfare? It’s time to put ideology aside and do what’s right for all of us.
JUDITH J. GORDON Bernalillo – From ABQ Journal – March 11