Professor David Pettinicchio on Canadians with disabilities and chronic health conditions feeling left behind amid the COVID-19 pandemic

July 21, 2020 by Tianyang Zheng

Professor David Pettinicchio recently co-wrote an op-ed in The Toronto Star discussing the negative impacts wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians with disabilities and long-term chronic health conditions. Although most people with disabilities and chronic health conditions who applied for the CERB found the process accessible, they expressed anxieties about what will happen in the future. Professor Pettinicchio explains that it is crucial for organizations to provide ample support and for policies to cater to their needs in order to achieve meaningful outcomes.

Professor David Pettinicchio is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities on the UT Mississauga (UTM) campus. His research focuses on social policy, social movements, and political sociology. 

We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full story is available on the Toronto Star.

Canadians with disabilities, chronic health conditions feel left behind by pandemic

Mon., July 13, 2020

Governments have a responsibility to address the specific challenges people with disabilities and chronic health conditions have and continue to face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only is this population more likely to contract COVID-19, it is also more negatively affected by the social distancing measures put in place to limit its spread. Economic and social supports for people with disabilities have been particularly limited, making their road to recovery far less certain.

Unfortunately, almost no systematic data exists on how Canadians with disabilities and chronic health conditions have fared during the pandemic. We recently conducted a survey of 1,000 Canadians with disabilities and chronic health issues. We find that these Canadians are struggling and don’t think the government is doing enough to help.

About 19 per cent of those surveyed felt left behind by government or business responses to COVID-19. Many cited a lack of financial support from the government, a loss of services, and not having any voice in developing social distancing policies.

Read the full article on the Toronto Star...