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Who should you help during the coronavirus pandemic?
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The homeless have nowhere to isolate

Homeless people cannot shut themselves away from the world to prevent contracting COVID-19.

The Argument

Homeless populations are at a unique risk from COVID-19. They are unable to isolate in a home and homeless populations often also have increased health risks. Without the ability to stay out of public spaces, they become an increased concern for both contracting and spreading the virus. Furthermore, they often rely on social services that may be under stress, or not running at all due to the pandemic. Ensuring that they still have access to essential services is vital to protecting these communities. Lastly, not only do they lack homes, but they often don't have easy access to the sanitation and hygiene methods needed to kill the virus. These are taken for granted by many, but homeless populations lack access to these basic amenities. We must put in place extra measures to protect the homeless from the plight of the pandemic.

Counter arguments

Homeless communities may be unable to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus, but they are not the most vulnerable. The elderly and sick are most at risk, so we must take measures to protect them. In reality, all are under threat of the virus and its proximate effects. We cannot give the homeless special treatment when it already affects so many. There is a logistical barrier to helping them as well. It would be difficult to implement any policy, such as mask-wearing, within a homeless population. Using extra resources in this way is impractical when so many healthcare services are already being pushed to their breaking point as a result of the virus.



[P1] We must help those most likely to contract the virus. [P2] Homeless people have nowhere to go to quarantine. [P3] Homeless communities may have more difficulty accessing care and information during the quarantine.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] We should prioritize helping those most greatly affected by the virus. [Rejecting P2] Homeless communities are too difficult to manage during the virus. [Rejecting P3] Healthcare and social service systems are already stretched thin by the virus. We cannot give the homeless special treatment.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 01:19 UTC

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