As the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact communities around the world, philosophy professor Kok-Chor Tan reflects on how external factors—such as socioeconomic status, health care, and social biases—can exacerbate or mitigate suffering.
On a local level, Tan says, “socioeconomic inequality within a country raises additional issues of justice. While this is a pandemic that touches all of us, its effects on people’s lives are uneven even within a wealthy country. Some people are able to ride it out better than their neighbors.
“The lack of universal health care here in the U.S., and our broken health system more generally, is compromising our ability as a society to respond effectively. But it will be the poor and the uninsured who will bear the brunt of this collective failure.”
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