150 Million Killed Before Death? Coronavirus Leaves Struggling Homeless Population Left To Ruins.
Homeless people around the world struggle every day to find food, clean water, and shelter. Now the outbreak of coronavirus has multiplied their worries.
Highlights! Inside Coronavirus lockdown, the homeless struggle to survive the outbreak
- The calamity adding to the many nightmares for homeless
- Homeless in the USA less shelterless
- 40% of America’s homeless are becoming increasingly vulnerable
- Europe’s homeless have become invisible to policymakers
- Deplorable condition of homeless in developing Asian countries
While the novel coronavirus outbreak is killing thousands across the globe, devastating the global economy, the poor and homeless have been left orphaned by the system. The homeless constitute the most vulnerable section of our society. For them even finding food to sustain themselves is difficult.
Shelters are already full or closed due to coronavirus. Add to that the fact that places from where they could find food – restaurants, libraries, and soup kitchens are also shut. To put their situation in perspective, the homeless across the globe have no access to toilets, much less toilet paper. The situation is very depressing and difficult for them.
It’s a calamity — Our worst nightmare
Speaking to Wired about how the COVID-19 crisis has caused havoc in the lives of homeless, who are as it is vulnerable to sickness due to lack of food, hygiene and medical care, Margot Kushel, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco who studies homelessness, says, “It’s a calamity. Our worst nightmare. An enormous crisis superimposed on an existing crisis. There has always been an increased risk of communicable diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and influenza.”
“It’s a calamity. Our worst nightmare. It’s an enormous crisis superimposed on an existing crisis.Margot Kushel, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco on the struggle of homeless during the coronavirus outbreak
So, while the rest of the world is cribbing about quarantining at home, there are millions across the world who do not even have a home to stay safe and protect themselves from getting infected by the virus.
Let us see how homeless people across the world are struggling with the pandemic-:
Homeless in the USA
Though the government is asking people to stay at home and maintain social distancing as coronavirus has killed 6,095 people and infected around 245,380, the homeless are not in the position to follow these directives. Without any food or shelter, homeless people are in a difficult situation.
Shirley Raines, founder of Beauty 2 The Streetz, a nonprofit that provides services to homeless people on Skid Row in Los Angeles, told ABC News, “Social distance is a luxury that the homeless can’t afford. There are 60,000 homeless people in L.A. that have nowhere to go.”You will find more infographics at Statista
She explains that the homeless community is not getting much help from the government and has to struggle a lot to fend for themselves. However, slowly but steadily the local governments are realizing that if more and more homeless people get infected from COVID-19, then it might spread at an alarming rate to other sections of the society.
If more and more homeless people get infected, COVID-19 might spread at an alarming rate to other sections of the society.
Add to the current crisis. As a result, some states like California and New York are taking measures to protect the homeless from the virus.
40% of America’s homeless could become infected
After realizing that seven people from the homeless have been tested positive for coronavirus in California, the state government authorized $150 million in emergency funding to protect the homeless from the pandemic. As per the ABC News report, these funds will be used to local governments for shelter support, emergency housing and for leasing rooms in hotels and other facilities. Even shelters in New York are taking proactive measures to prevent the further spread of coronavirus among the homeless.
However, what has us really worried is a report quoted by Popular Science that says 40% of America’s homeless population could become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel virus that causes COVID-19. With so many homeless people getting infected and with paucity of resources to treat them, they face a dark fate. The report added that thousands could be killed.
Europe’s homeless have become invisible to policymakers
Homeless in major European countries are in a similar struggle due to the coronavirus outbreak. They are starving, cold, anxious and really depressed about the current crisis. With places like food banks and soup kitchens shut, homeless people have nowhere where they can eat.
Moreover, in some European nations, the homeless are facing bigger dangers than the deadly coronavirus. According to a report in The Guardian, police in Italy have been handing fines to homeless people. Even in cities like Paris, Brussels, and Prague, the shelters have not been able to help the homeless as the staff do not have protective gear to hand out food to the community.
The most unfortunate thing is that we are facing coronavirus at a time where there are a record number of people are living without a house in Europe. Living in these deplorable conditions not only makes you weaker, but also reduces your immunity to fight any infection.
Deplorable condition of homeless in developing Asian countries
India has more than 1.7 million homeless residents, of which over 938,000 live in urban areas. These people beg for daily sustenance, have no access to a regular supply of water and have no place to sleep.
They sleep wherever they get space. For such a community, washing hands regularly with soaps or sanitizers is an alien concept. The coronavirus outbreak has amplified the struggles of India’s poor and homeless.
India has more than 1.7 million homeless residents, of which over 938,000 live in urban areas.
Of these homeless, around 68 million people live in informal settlements in India, as per the 2011 Census. Most of these shelters are crammed with people and it is impossible to be practicing social distancing from each other.
Hence, these homeless shelters can become the next hotspot for coronavirus for India. The situation is similar in other developing countries of Asia like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Edited by: Chitresh Sehgal | Editor, DKODING Media Inc.