You might have read articles about how COVID-19 disproportionately impacted women. I can attest to feeling this way during this pandemic, and while I’m so thankful I retained those nearest and dearest — the lives of those I love — that doesn’t make the pain less real. Here are three ways that COVID-19 impacted me as a woman and how I managed.
1. I Had to Postpone a Very Important Gynecologist Visit
Health centers made many adjustments during COVID-19. Fortunately, authorities issued guidance to such clinics. The CDC recommended that facilities explore alternatives to face-to-face and triage visits, and the federal government obliged by loosening restrictions surrounding telehealth .
Unfortunately, there was no such mercy extended toward individual taxpayers who need access to affordable care to thrive. The cruelty of for-profit medicine needs to end. Nevertheless, that system is our current reality. Like millions of others under 65, when I lost my job, I lost my insurance coverage.
A Pap smear is an important test recommended to women between 21 and 65 every three years to screen for cervical cancer . I had to put off a preventative yearly gynecological screening while I figured out how I would be able to afford access to basic medicine now. I still haven’t gone in.
2. My Sister Fell Ill and I Took Charge of Her Kids
My sister is a nurse, and although some health care workers lost employment during the pandemic, she kept her job . Did you know women are more likely to work in caregiver positions, which were some of the hardest hit during this pandemic ? As my sister works in a senior care facility — which ranks among the top hardest hit — she became ill. She recovered, but in the interim, I took charge of her children.
I didn’t mind stepping in to help, but I’m not a parent myself. My apartment isn’t childproof, and I had never changed a diaper before I had to care for my nephew. She helped me financially, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a struggle going from childless-by-choice to substitute-parent-for-three overnight.
3. My Anxiety Soared Out of Control
Thanks to COVID-19, I found myself with no job and very little money. As a result, my anxiety spiraled out of control. It didn’t help that I was already emotionally exhausted from over a decade of too many bills and too little month.
Women are statistically more predisposed to suffering from anxiety . The same rule may well apply to economic hardship, given that women still earn significantly less than men. We tend to have a more challenging time recovering from downturns, whether it be in our health or our work.
Yes, Many Women Suffered Disproportionately in the Pandemic
I don’t know where I will go from here. I suppose I will do what I’ve historically done, which is everything I can to try to rebuild! I lost my day job, but luckily, I still have my Editor in Chief job at an online mag, which I enjoy very much. Still, I’m not the only one who felt the disproportionate gender effects of COVID-19 . This pandemic definitely highlighted, for many, the gender disparity that makes catastrophes into a feminist issue and shows we still have far to go to reach equality in the way our society is built.