There’s still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19, and it could be some time before we have a solid grasp of the many ways the virus and the lockdowns have impacted different segments of society.

Little by little, evidence is emerging that the pandemic is disproportionately targeting several minority groups, and could be causing unique challenges for individuals with intersecting identities.

As early as April, it became clear more Black Americans were dying of COVID-19, even in predominantly white areas.

In May, the Navajo Nation, which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, had surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita COVID-19 cases in the US.

Pandemic-related harassment is on the rise, too. Early in the year, anti-Asian discrimination was on the rise. Now, there appears to be an uptick in anti-mask harassment.

And we’re not done yet. COVID-19 has been hard for disabled individuals, particularly those who are hearing impaired, and the lockdowns may have had severe ramifications for some members of the LGBTQ community, who may have been forced to quarantine in unsupportive environments.

Researchers who have been working from home and simultaneously caring for children appear to be publishing less, suggesting the lockdown may, in the long term, negatively impact some people’s career development.


In short: There are several ways COVID-19 is creating challenges. Now, the Canadian government is attempting to quantify that, by releasing a survey that all Canadian citizens are invited to fill out.

The Statistics Canada survey is looking to log incidents of discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or language, and whether or not those experiences have changed during the pandemic.

The survey will be available until Aug. 17, 2020, and can be accessed here.

The government is also looking to understand how COVID-19 has impacted public trust in “various institutions, the general public, and your neighbours.”

“Data will help determine if discrimination during the pandemic has disproportionally impacted certain groups more than others,” reads a statement on the StatsCan website.

It’s not clear when the findings of the survey will be published.

Visit the StatsCan website to learn more.

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