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. 

Socioeconomic Status

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. 

Job Status

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. 

Health Status

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.

5 Replies to “Checking My Privilege in COVID Times

  1. Hallie, thank you. It is imperative to interrogate our social location and to recognize the dimensions of privilege we individually obtain. This pandemic has exacerbated the inequities that exist daily, and it is obligatory to check your privilege and determine the ways we can utilize our privileges to help others. A perfect example of using your privileges to aid others is to help elders in your respective community with grocery or pharmacy errands – with no contact delivery and overall taking precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19.

  2. I think this post is extremely insightful and can take a lot of courage to admit you are in a situation of privilege. I think all of us are privileged in different aspects, and outlining those different ways in which we experience certain advantages can really put things into perspective. Furthermore, “privilege checks” can also make us far more grateful during a time where on the surface it seems like there is little to be grateful for. Even though many of us may be bored, I see boredom as a great privilege during a pandemic. If you are truly bored that most likely means that everyone in your household is probably doing relatively well, everyone has clothes on their backs and food on the table, and no one is fighting for their lives. And that, during a time like this, is privilege. This post really makes you look inward and realize that we all have things to be grateful for, and focusing on the good instead of the bad right now will help us all get through this difficult time.

  3. What a great post, thanks for sharing Hallie! To be honest admist everything happening I haven’t really stopped to think about my social location during this time, but this post is such an important reminder to do just that. I feel grateful to be at home, surrounded by most of my family right now. I know so many people don’t have access to get home or aren’t able to be with their loved ones right now, something I can’t even imagine. Similarly, both my parents still have their jobs and are able to work from home for the most part, something that I am incredibly thankful for, but it is also hard to see and hear about friends and others being unemployed- with rates increasingly going up. Your post really reminded me to take a step back and be appreciative of what I have, and to think about what I can do to help others who don’t have these same privileges.

  4. Loved, this and agree with everything you said! It is super important that we all continue to check our privileges and do whatever we can to help support and aid others. I hope that with all this craziness, there is at least the positive outcome of others starting to truly realize that we need to understand there are always ways in which we can help bring unity and positivity to those in need. I hope people begin to choose actions that speak to creating a safer and more equal environment within both our nation and the global community.

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