This article focuses on the inequities and structural risk factors that have caused essential workers, communities of color, and marginalized communities to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its negative health, social, and financial outcomes. It also explores the impact of public health responses and provides recommendations on how to ensure adequate protections for essential workers.
Supporting Public Health and Frontline Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on frontline and public health workers, exacerbating myriad mental health concerns, including stress, depression, and burnout. As with COVID-19 itself, impacts have disproportionately affected certain populations more likely to hold frontline positions, including women, LatinX people, and people of color. These challenges, compounded with broader issues affecting the workforce, undermine the capacities of frontline and public health workers to provide essential services. Key strategies for supporting frontline and public health workers include building a culture of caring across leadership and organizations, improving employment practices and working conditions, and fostering social support among workers.