I’m taking an opportunity to check my privilege these days. That means looking at how socioeconomic status, job status, and health status continue to enable my family while others are suffering.
Right now, I am quarantining in Santa Monica, California with my mother, father, sister, and brother. My family is from New York City, but we were able to fly to California so as to avoid being in the epicenter of the pandemic. A part of my social location is my family’s socioeconomic status. I recognize that my family’s ability to pay for a cross country flight is a privilege that many folks back in New York are unable to have themselves.
I also am surrounded by adult siblings and parents whose jobs allow them to be able to continue being employed by working from home. No one in my family has been laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic; this is another aspect of social location that my entire family resides in.
I am also personally in good health; I have no preexisting conditions that make me more at risk for contracting coronavirus. I am not immunocompromised, nor are any of my family members who I am currently living with. I see my health status as an important indicator of my social location. I am privileged to be in good health; still, it is my duty to be cautious and continue social distancing, since I know that I could be a carrier of the disease and just be asymptomatic.
Taking the time to check my privilege and interrogate my own social location allows for me to really take stock of my current reality. I encourage anyone reading this post to do the same…
Are you benefitting from where you geographically live?
Do you have family members or loved ones who can continue to get paid and work from home during this time?
Are you in good health?
Are those around you folks without preexisting conditions?
If you think critically about these posed questions, you can begin to understand that we all inhabit different social locations that impact how we live. Remember to take stock of your privileges this quarantine season. It’s never too late to practice gratitude.