Authors: Carla Rice, Eliza Chandler, Elisabeth Harrison, Lacey Croft
When COVID-19 first struck in Canada, media reports described a surge of deaths in long-term care homes, retirement homes and congregate residences. Headlines announced the particular dangers of COVID-19 to older people, disabled people, fat people and people with “comorbidities” or “pre-existing conditions.” Authorities sometimes mentioned the underfunding of the care sector, poor wages, unjust staffing policies and inadequate infection control practices as factors contributing to the upsurge in COVID-19 deaths. Most headlines evidenced ableist thinking in their suggestions that the underlying cause of the tragedy rested in the bodies of populations living in these settings—those they described as uniquely or naturally “vulnerable” to dying from COVID-19.
Rice, C., Chandler, E., Harrison, E., Croft, L. (2021). Access after COVID-19: How disability culture can transform life and work. Monitor: Progressive News, Views and Ideas, 28(4), pp. 28-30. https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/novemberdecember-2021