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How the Politicization of Covid 19 Affects People with Disabilities

Published: 2021-05-04 - Updated: 2021-07-31
Author: Kathleen M. Cleaver | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: Article by Kathleen M. Cleaver regarding Covid-19 effects on health and the disability community. mRNA vaccines use readily available materials making them easier to develop. mRNA vaccines do not use a live virus. It does not enter the nucleus of the cell and does not affect the DNA. If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish then when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others' pain.

Main Digest

People with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by Covid 19. There are numerous reasons why they are vulnerable to the virus that cannot be controlled or changed. Wearing a mask for an extended period can be difficult due to pulmonary or sensory issues. The need for support staff renders social distancing and quarantining nearly impossible. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is diabetic or suffering from cancer and their need to self isolate to insulate themselves from the virus. Those who are intellectually disabled often have additional medical issues making it more likely for them to contract a serious or deadly case of Covid 19. A person who is blind is unable to see if you are wearing a mask or are socially distancing. A person who is deaf will choose to wear a mask for protection even though it hinders his ability to communicate. Instead of commiserating over the inconvenience of wearing a mask, commend yourself for the people you are protecting.


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Vaccines provide protection. Smallpox has been totally eliminated due to a worldwide vaccination program. In the United States, we no longer have to fear the damaging effects of polio because of the tremendous work of scientists and the public acceptance of the vaccine. Children no longer suffer the discomfort caused by chickenpox, measles and mumps. Unborn babies are protected from disabilities caused by German Measles. Now, thanks to the advancement in science we have a vaccine for Covid 19.

Medical mask and vaccination sticker.
Medical mask and vaccination sticker.

The procedure for developing the Covid 19 vaccine is not new. It is an mRNA vaccine and has been studied for years. According to the CDC, "mRNA vaccines use readily available materials making them easier to develop. mRNA vaccines do not use a live virus. It does not enter the nucleus of the cell and does not affect the DNA. It does teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response to Covid 19." Yes, it can cause some short-lasting side effects and no, we do not know the duration of the efficacy of the vaccine. We do know that it is safe and that it is our best option for protecting ourselves and our most vulnerable population.

Having a Covid safe visit with our daughter at the facility where she resides.
Having a Covid safe visit with our daughter at the facility where she resides.

Let us put our political opinions aside and unite to eradicate Covid 19. Please wear a mask and get vaccinated. Think about those around you. In the words of Pope Francis, "If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish then when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others' pain."

About Kathleen M. Cleaver

Kathleen M. Cleaver holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and the education of children whose primary disability is a visual impairment (TVI). During her thirty year career as a teacher, Kathleen received the Penn-Del AER Elinor Long Award and the AER Membership Award for her service and contributions to the education of children with visual impairments. She also received the Elizabeth Nolan O’Donnell Achievement Award for years of dedicated service to St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments.

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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Kathleen M. Cleaver. Electronic Publication Date: 2021-05-04 - Revised: 2021-07-31. Title: How the Politicization of Covid 19 Affects People with Disabilities, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/blogs/politicization.php>How the Politicization of Covid 19 Affects People with Disabilities</a>. Retrieved 2021-08-04, from https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/blogs/politicization.php - Reference: DW#322-13963.