The pandemic’s severe blow to our collective sense of wellbeing will, of course, be global, but the US seems particularly vulnerable.
As of last week, roughly 22 million Americans filed for unemployment. According to a new study by Harvard and City University of New York (published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine), 1.5 million people in the US have already lost their health insurance during the Coronavirus pandemic, and an additional 5.7 million are expected to lose it by June.
This is a unique and unprecedented situation: In no other country in the rich world can citizens lose both their income and health coverage simultaneously. That’s in addition to the many millions of Americans that didn’t have health insurance at all pre-virus because, in low-wage jobs, they are unlikely to be offered any. One caveat: On April 3, the US administration announced that the federal government would cover Coronavirus-related treatment for all those who are uninsured (but for no other medical condition). The bottom line: Among these people, any hope for or aspiration to wellbeing has evaporated.