In a new op-ed posted on Blavity, PFAW Senior Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks addresses the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s impacting people’s lives — outside of the health care realm — every day. While everything works out as best it can for individuals whose companies have work-from-home and paid sick leave policies, there are millions of other employees who don’t have those luxuries. People who work in the service or delivery industry, for example, have to choose between possible exposure to the virus and practicing social distancing by staying home from work without pay.
Employees aren’t the only ones affected; with the closure of schools, parents are now trying to find childcare and extra food for children who are stuck at home with no access to free or reduced-cost lunches. College students are being asked to leave campuses as dorms close, leaving them scrambling to find places to stay.
“Thankfully, there was a glimmer of hope [last] Friday, when the House of Representatives outlined the first steps in a plan to create real solutions to many of these problems. The Families First Coronavirus Act, which passed the House that night, provides free testing for anyone who needs it, paid sick days, unemployment insurance, food security measures and other critical resources.”
The Senate must pass this critical measure to protect the lives of all people who are and will continue to be affected by coronavirus.