Environmental Injustice During COVID-19

Subject: Environment
Pages: 2
Words: 639
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master


The underlying concept of environmental injustice implies the disproportionally spread environmental risks for particular communities or human groups compared to the rest of society. The increased concern for the unequal environmental treatment and consequences is considerably accelerated by political and economic injustices (Kaltmeier et al.). Over the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has seized the world and environmental state of safety for many communities in the United States. Along with the deeply rooted racial biases, COVID-19 has promoted a new type of environmental racism as real-world injustice and a severe threat to the health of the Black community across the country.

The research states that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly amplified environmental injustice in the United States. As the virus was distributing equally throughout the different areas of the country, it unequally affected the low-income and minority neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color. Most importantly, there is serious concern about access to healthcare for the Black communities. Some of the cities, including Detroit, Chicago, and St. James Parish, have been fighting economic inequality and pollution in impoverished areas for decades. These were the places that encountered the highest mortality rates from coronavirus (Bagley). The health crisis shaped by COVID-19 dissimilarly affected low-income communities, particularly communities of color, because of different social and environmental conditions. With long-term exposure to PM2.5 (fine particulate air pollution), such communities face higher risks of the adverse impact of the virus and mortality rates (Bagley). Hence, the studies revealed that increased levels of pollution and racism are directly linked to a higher risk of death from the virus.

Media Object

To address such a critical environmental injustice issue, I would like to produce the media object, namely video, including all the relevant and essential statistics and facts of the recent medical, environmental, and social research. By creating the educational video, I hope to communicate the devastating impact of environmental racism and injustice in the pandemic. More specifically, I want to emphasize that it is imperative for modern society to deal with the structural inequalities in the United States first in order to address the critical health disparities. The main message is to empower American society to become more responsible for protecting Black lives during the present and future epidemics. The impoverished Black communities constantly fight the issues of structural racism in the polluted areas in terms of “the physical pollution and misinformation” (Wilson et al. 64). Therefore, the point of departure for combatting environmental injustice starts with race and racism itself.


The abundance of visual content on the extensive and ever-increasing online networking platforms makes the online content hold power in its hands to influence the social mindset. Thus, by making this educational video about environmental racism and related inequalities, it will be possible to illustrate how people are at different levels of risk of contracting the virus. Moreover, they are at different levels of enduring and surviving the disease. According to Sternlicht, COVID-19 deaths demonstrate the trends in increased mortality rate among Black Americans and those exposed to the long-term impact of air pollution. The video might provoke the need for regulating the laws fairly across all the racial ethnic groups in the United States to avoid environmental injustice.

During such unstable and hazardous times, it is of the utmost importance to act responsibly because society can no longer disregard such environmental problems. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed how people of color and entire affected communities are vulnerable to poor health outcomes, discrimination, and access to medical care (Zeldovich). Given the complex set of environmental factors that impact the COVID-19 mortality, the global environmental justice movement has to leverage to fight the systematic occurrence of racial intolerance. Reducing air pollution in the affected areas where the minority and Black people live is the moral imperative for the country and contemporary society.

Works Cited

Bagley, Katherine. ‘Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Injustice and the Coronavirus.’ 2020, Yale Environment 360, Web.

Kaltmeier, Olaf, et al. The Routledge Handbook to the Political Economy and Governance of the Americas. Routledge, 2020.

Sternlicht, Alexandra. ‘Higher Coronavirus Mortality Rates for Black Americans and People Exposed to Air Pollution.’ Forbes, 2020, Web.

Wilson, Sacoby M., et al. “Roundtable on the Pandemics of Racism, Environmental Injustice, and COVID-19 in America.” Environmental Justice, vol. 13, no. 3, 2020, pp. 56–64.

Zeldovich, Lina. ‘Environmental Racism and the Coronavirus Pandemic.’ JSTOR Daily, 2020, Web.