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31 October 2020
COVID-19 and Health Inequalities: Lessons for Pandemic Disasters Yet to Come
Since the publication of the Philadelphia Negro, persistent health and place-based disparities have been thoroughly documented in the United States. Those of lower social positions, defined by income, wealth, education, occupation; living in impoverished or medically underserved areas; or who belong to racial/ethnic groups have poorer health behaviors and health outcomes. Such disparities have the potential to become magnified when faced with a pandemic such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. Pandemics disasters, like the coronavirus (COVID-19), underscore the profound effects of the health disparities among our most vulnerable due to persistent social inequalities. The legacy of disasters and their impact on socially vulnerable populations is well documented; however, the emergency of the novel COVID-19 global pandemic poses a unique set of challenges as long-standing health disparities play out before our eyes when unsustainable healthcare infrastructures and a global pandemic collide. This Special Issue--COVID-19 and Health Inequalities: Lessons for Pandemic Disasters Yet to Come--seeks to present a collection of papers that advance our understanding of pandemic disasters and illuminate the structural forces that prevent us from rebuilding communities in ways that make communities safer, healthier, and better prepared for the next natural or human-induced disaster.
We invite investigators to contribute original research (empirical and theoretical) that will further broader our understanding of the cultural, economic, political, and social factors that contribute to, or may decrease, health inequalities during pandemic disasters such as COVID-19. Papers that include qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method are welcome, as are papers that discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies. Potential topic include, but are not limited to:
- Papers that emphasize an intersectional approach (e.g., race, gender, and social class) in advancing our understanding of COVID-19 and health inequalities.
- Papers that highlight how COVID-19 and future pandemic disasters have implications for individual- (e.g., discrimination), place- (e.g., urbanicity), and community-oriented (e.g., segregation) factors and their contribution to health inequities.
- Papers that highlight community factors that affect health in preplanning for disasters so that communities are better able to realize healthier, more socially vibrant, and resilient communities.
- Papers the emphasize how data modeling can be used to help understand and plan for disaster responses to ensure an equitable distribution of resources for future pandemic disasters.
- Papers that employ COVID-19 data to mitigate risk in specific countries, cities, neighborhoods, or make comparisons among specific vulnerable groups globally.
- Papers that illustrate how social determinants of health and social networks facilitate or reduce transmission of the COVID-19.
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