Economic Effects of Coronavirus


Artwork Mario Mancera

The painting represents the socio-economic effects that the Coronavirus has had in society. A chained hand can be seen reaching for a stack of dollars that are the ‘bait’ in a mousetrap. I decided to do this drawing because I wanted to show how the Coronavirus has affected the low-income workers of the capitalistic society we live in. As a result of the limits these individuals encounter every day, they have been more susceptible to the contagion of COVID-19. These workers, for the most part, do not have a choice. If they do not go to work, they cannot feed their families. No father or mother will stop working even if it means risking their lives.


This scenario is one that is seen in the middle and lower classes of society: ‘the working class.’ The conflict that arises from this situation is that the workplace environment these people are operating in, for the most part, does not have proper health precautions to prevent the Coronavirus from propagating; hence these workers become more susceptible to the virus. The New York Times shared some essential facts regarding the effect of the virus on lower-income workers: people who belong to lower classes of society, are 10% more likely to get a chronic health condition. In addition, the conditions that these people live and work in, make the virus up to ten times more deadly. On average, the Coronavirus is twice as deadly for these workers of society. 


The chains in hand represent how lower-income workers are ‘chained’ to labor in an oppressive society that forces them to work despite the life-risking conditions they have to face in their workplace environments. The stack of dollars represents the minimum wage that these workers receive for their labor. Finally, the mousetrap symbolizes different aspects of this situation; for instance, people know what a mousetrap looks like; everybody understands how they work: if you put your hand in the bait, a mechanism is triggered, and the trap is unleashed. Despite knowing that, the hand is still reaching for the cash. This represents the position many workers TODAY are being forced to take.


The worst part of this situation is the fact that while these workers have to go out every day and risk their lives, while their employers sit gracefully in their homes, earning more money than every single worker. I believe this highlights a significant flaw within a capitalistic society during times of pandemic. The poor will die trying to feed their families, while the rich will become richer by doing nothing.


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