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Americans are well versed in the consequences for physical health from COVID-19. Newspapers brim daily with scary headlines alarming us of any risk that it might pose, no matter how minor or remote. But there are other nasty and less often discussed consequences brought on by this pandemic and by our collective reaction to it—whether that's due to people locking themselves up at home out of fear of encountering others or government-ordered lockdowns.
These consequences deserve our attention. They are real and poignant, and they disproportionately affect society's least powerful. Victims of the current pandemic response have little political or economic voice. So, let me speak for them:
They are the small-business owners who have seen their businesses destroyed by the lockdowns. They are the owners of restaurants and small shops that never reopened, even when the lockdowns were partially lifted.
They are the small-business owners who don't know how long they can survive with so few customers, but they know that they won't survive another lockdown.
They are essential workers who have continued to labor hard to provide our health care and our groceries, even when their children were stranded at home in spite of overwhelming evidence that schools are not a locus of COVID-19 infection.
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