ONE ViRUS, TWO WORLDS: WEALTH DiSPARiTiES iN THE AFTERMATH OF COVID-19
Low-income Torontonians account for disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations than higher-income Torontonians. Data collected up to December 31, 2021 shows that 53% of the city’s COVID- 19 hospitalization were individuals who live in low-income households - who account for only 30% of the Toronto population (City of Toronto 2021). Toronto is not unique in this way. Throughout the pandemic, cities across the globe have experienced similar disproportionalities in COVID- 19 cases and hospitalizations between low-income and high-income individuals (Deaton, 2021).
Health disparities for lower-income individuals is not a new phenomenon. Lower-income individuals have been suffering from worse health than higher-income individuals for as long as this issue has been studied. According to Peter J. Cunningham at
the Virginia Commonwealth University, “the health of people with low incomes often suffers because they can’t afford adequate housing, food, or child care. Such living conditions, and the stress they cause, can lead to higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use and increase the risk of health problems developing or worsening over time.” (Cunningham 2018) Even healthy low-income individuals, Cunnigham finds, suffer disproportionately as they are unable to afford preventative care services, leading to higher rates of disease and preventable illness (Cunningham 2018) ...
Author: Jake Karpouzis