Privilege in the Time of Covid-19

This morning I awoke to find a box of fresh produce from a local organic food delivery company on the doorstep. The quality seems excellent; the packaging, minimal. This service fits our food preferences and concerns about waste. Later today another company will deliver ingredients with recipes for home cooked meals. We’ve been ordering from them for several weeks and have never eaten so well.

I was putting away the now thoroughly washed produce, when a feeling of remorse swept over me. Our refrigerator and freezer are filled with healthy food. The pantry is stacked with what we need for the next few weeks. We have what we need and probably more.

Our internet connection is stable enough that is is easy to spend as much time as we want shopping when supplies run low. And, it allows us to meet with family and friends online as often as we want. Our home is comfortable; warm when it is chilly outdoors, cool when it heats up. We have multiple media sources to entertain us and more art supplies than we can use in a year.

All in all, this shelter in place routine is annoying for us, not devastating. Our net worth may have sunk with the stock market, but we are on a fixed income so no real worries there.

This pandemic has revealed the dire effects of the disparities created by privilege. All the benefits my husband and I have experienced in life—good schools, well-paid corporate careers, a stable marriage—have created a bubble where we are able to exist in comfort while those who serve us suffer.

And that is the root of my remorse, maybe guilt. We are being served by people who may be struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, utility bills, medical expenses, probably food. While we grouse about not being able to dine with friends; others are deciding between food and medicine. Loss of income may mean loss of housing to some. A lost job or sudden illness will create financial ruin for many.

So what to do? In the short term, we fall back on the one thing that we can do from isolation…donate to organizations that are making a difference to those in our community who have a lot less resources than we do. The link below is to an organization I just learned about from a friend who volunteers there. White Pony Express seems perfect for what I am feeling today…their mission is to eliminate hunger and poverty.