Alice Rothchild


Authors in the Lancet say Israel must lift “closure” on Gaza because insufficient amount of equipment needed to treat COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territory (87 intensive care unit beds with ventilators for nearly 2 million people and a paucity of personal protective equipment) is compounded by poor public health conditions: a water and electricity crisis, rampant poverty, and a high population density.

As the incidence of COVID-19 infections is disproportionately affecting many communities of color (most notably in the US, African Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders), there is concurrently a significant rise in racism and xenophobia. That includes Oregon’s threefold increase in hate crimes this year and black males saying they fear being profiled for wearing masks.

As Trump announces further travel bans, we must recognize the hierarchy of vulnerability: who gets into which fortress, who is left banging on the doors, who is trapped in an increasingly impoverished ghetto. Having papers is both an opportunity and a marker in a surveilled world.