An analysis of the discourse on safety during the COVID19 pandemic for the Canadian Medical Association Journal by a few members of PHM Canada. Read the full article here.
Reimagining safety in a pandemic: the imperative to dismantle structural oppression in Canada
Canada’s safety record during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed longstanding systemic injustices plaguing our society. Knowing that the pandemic and response to it have not affected people equally, we raise the questions: What keeps us safe and who is kept safe during this pandemic?
Does policing people who are systematically oppressed and facing multiple survival challenges (only one of which is COVID-19) keep people safe? Who has the privilege of distancing, whether that means access to a home, car or protective supplies, or the ability to work from home? These questions highlight not only pre-existing social and economic inequities, but also setbacks to achieving a socially just pandemic response.
As medical and public health professionals and members of the People’s Health Movement, we believe that everyone deserves safety, a foundational determinant of health. In this article, we use an intersectional race, class and gender lens and consider multiple threats to safety to examine safety in the home, in communities and across borders.