The rapid spread of the coronavirus is causing deep uncertainty throughout the world. The fact is that people with disabilities, including but not limited to those who are elderly, are more at-risk during a health and economic crisis than others.
- Shortages of life-saving medications are a major problem, partially because of interruptions in the supply chain and partially because some people are hoarding.
- People with disabilities are more likely to go to hospitals where even if they don’t have COVID-19, they could come in contact with it.
- The news media is playing up the threat, which puts additional strain on people with mental health issues. Moreover, it is more challenging to see mental health providers when there are concerns about coming in contact with a virus.
- In times of economic downturns, historically, people with disabilities are the first to lose their jobs. As companies face business downturns, a lot of people – with and without disabilities – will face extreme financial hardship. This job loss will be especially hard on people with disabilities who already are more than twice as likely than others to be in poverty already.
Because of this, RespectAbility hosted a free webinar with several experts who discussed key resources, self-care and preparedness for emergency situations.