Last Updated: 16.16, Monday, 27 April 2020
The ‘novel coronavirus’ (or COVID-19) is a new respiratory illness and infectious disease not previously seen in humans. First identified in December 2019, the virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (or SARS-CoV-2) and the disease that it causes is what we refer to as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (or COVID-19).
While medical professionals and researchers have been studying the virus since its outbreak — particularly in terms of how it affects humans physiologically — developments in relation to COVID-19 are rapidly evolving on a day-to-day basis.
And as states across the globe attempt to mitigate the pandemic and its spread, a number of existing social justice issues have come into sharper focus. Indeed, there is already a great deal of evidence to suggest that racial, gender, and economic inequalities have contributed to a disproportionate impact of the virus on already vulnerable communities, such as black and ethnic minorities and poor working class families.
On these grounds, this page was created to provide visitors with readings, links, and video essays focusing on some of these issues as they have arisen in early months of the pandemic. These resources may be of particular use to educators and learners who wish to explore the experiences of marginalized populations in Ireland and the effects of ongoing social isolation measures on them.
THINKING ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE DURING A PANDEMIC
State measures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic have included the closure of businesses and institutions as part of broader efforts to enforce social distancing among the wider populace. If you would like to explore how these policies have affected unemployment, housing, healthcare, and social security, please click the button on the left.
With campuses closed, the future of student enrollment and third-level finances have become key concerns not just for university management but the whole of the university community not just in Ireland but across the globe. To explore what may lay ahead for the future of higher education in the pandemic’s aftermath, please click on the button to your left.
Asylum seekers living in Ireland’s Direct Provision system have for years protested the typically cramped and unhygienic conditions of their residences but the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted further the inhumanity of the state’s approach to processing applications for individuals seeking international protection. To learn more, please click to the button to your left.
Many of the social justice issues that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic are long-standing issues that community organisers and activists have been combating and bringing to public attention for decades. As individuals are asked to physically distance, communities have come together in social solidarity to help those already marginalised from facing further isolation. To learn more, please click on the button to the left.
HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES
The first documented case of coronavirus or COVID-19 in Ireland was reported on 28 February 2020 in relation to a woman who traveled through Dublin Airport from northern Italy to Belfast in Northern Ireland. As cases continued to rise in number, the government has implemented a number of measures to mitigate its spread.
In accordance with guidance provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Ireland’s national Health Service Executive (HSE) has advised that all individuals stay at home and only go outside for matters of necessity (such as food shopping and light exercise).
For more on HSE guidelines, please click here.
Following government directives, third-level institutions and campuses across Ireland were closed on the 12th of March, 2020 and announced that they would remain open online with students and staff working remotely from home.
If you are looking for information regarding each of the participating institutions in this study and their individual responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, please click on the appropriate button below.