Solidarity or Shit: Chronicles During the COVID-19 Community Quarantine

Last night, I watched Netflix’s “The Platform” (El Hoyo), a dystopian science-fiction film which explores class warfare and how a threat could force people to cooperate.

I’ve been mulling about how the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the entrenched inequalities in our society. Already we’re seeing how the less privileged are made to choose between dying from hunger or dying from the disease, while the rich continue to believe that these people are merely being stubborn–lacking the discipline that is demanded by this enhanced community quarantine imposed by the Philippine government, when in fact, it is the very privilege these rich people have that allow them to easily follow the rules.

(An article from the New York Times discusses this at length:

“When a health crisis hits entire segments of society, it can set off a cycle in which declining economic status leads to rising rates of chronic illness. That, in turn, further depresses productivity and raises health care costs, leading to more poverty, which leads to more disease.

“According to a 2010 study by a British biological sciences journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, whole communities can become caught in a “disease-driven poverty trap” in which “the combined causal effects of health on poverty and poverty on health implies a positive feedback system.”

“Because diseases do not respect the barriers that separate rich from poor, health inequality is a problem for everyone. A study from Delhi, India, one of the world’s most economically polarized cities, found that its slums served as citywide accelerants for an influenza outbreak.”)

I talk about my thoughts about the movie in the video below, in light of how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to recognize that our collective actions could help or harm all of us.

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