Struggle with Multiple Pandemics: Women, the Elderly and Asian Ethnic Minorities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Pan Wang


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths in the first six months of 2020. It also exposed and led to increases in the inequalities that exist worldwide. This paper draws attention to the prejudices and biases toward three vulnerable social groups—women, the elderly and Asian ethnic  minorities during the crisis. It shows that while women ‘held up more than half of the sky’ both inside and outside the house, they struggled against rising domestic violence and various forms of sexism. The elderly, the most at risk of infection, are being ‘abandoned,’ ‘abused’ or ‘obliged’ to sacrifice themselves to the capitalist market economy. Ethnic minorities, especially Asian/Chinese immigrants in western countries have been subjected to racial stereotypes in their everyday life. Although the coronavirus will disappear, the ‘shadow’ of the pandemic will undoubtedly remain unless we rebuild solidarity and work together to reflect, reconcile and redress the inequalities entrenched in our societies.

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The Great Dis-Equalizer: the Covid-19 Crisis Special Issue (Essays)