Essay on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) and Social Inequality in the World

Published: 2021/12/24
Number of words: 1433


Social inequality occurs in society when a specific group of people experiences unequal opportunities, which are mostly influenced by their social class. The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) exacerbated this issue. Its impact is evident globally with the most explicit one being economic turmoil. Its socio-economic impact is vast, noting that several people have lost jobs. It is worth noting that inequality existed in society even before COVID 19. However, this pandemic aggravated the situation. Mostly, people of low socioeconomic status are vulnerable to the disease’s associated adverse impacts. The overt examples of social inequality worth considering when discussing this topic include gender inequality, health care, and income gap, noting they are pertinent to coronavirus disease effects. Therefore, in this literature review, two articles are considered delving into inequality in society, specifically scrutinizing socioeconomic statuses in society and the coronavirus disease association.


Article One: Gender Inequality

In order to investigate the gender inequality as a consequence of coronavirus disease, Czymara, Langenkamp, and Cano (2020) researched the concerns of German residence during the pandemic’s first weeks of the outbreak. The government instigated measures in order to curb the spread of this disease. These methods included staying at home and social distancing, among others, most of which have increased the time at home with family while reducing work time. Therefore, the authors considered whether there is gender variation regarding these personal experiences and worries.

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Using a topic modeling approach, authors examined over 1,100 archived reports that were obtained from a survey and documented during the onset period of the pandemic. Firstly, in using this inductive machine learning tactic, authors extracted issues that worried subjects most and then they statistically examined how men and women differ in these concerns. Secondly, using a qualitative approach, the authors analyzed central quotes as gathered from survey questionnaires. Afterward, the outcome of this two-step methodology offered an understanding of the pandemic’s impact on people’s daily experiences, while shedding light on whether this crisis promotes gender inequality.

The result showed that respondents were more generally worried about childcare and social contacts. However, the outcome exhibited an explicit gender disparity regarding these concerns. Men’s worries revolved mostly on the economy, that is work and money, while women were concerned mostly with childcare. In their arguments, the authors noted that this pandemic affected women more than men. Women have decreased the time they spend on paid work and they worry more about childcare. On the other hand, men worry more about paid work, meaning they think more about the economy. On the whole, the authors denote that these developments can widen the gender wage gap in the future, especially during the recovery process.

Article Two: Learning Opportunity Inequality

All schools were closed globally amidst the coronavirus disease pandemic, forcing parents to take charge of homeschooling their children. In their study, Jæger and Blaabæk (2020) investigated whether there is learning inequality among Danish children while examining the digital book takeout rate from public libraries. This comparison arises because parents differ financially, and because of this gap, those of high socioeconomic status, that is families with higher education and income, are more likely to access better libraries and homeschool their children than those of low socioeconomic status. Authors hypothesized that the emergence of coronavirus could heighten this disparity by fostering children’s learning opportunity inequality.

This study utilized the observation method by retrieving data regarding library takeout from new administrative registers in all Denmark’s public libraries inventories, excluding university and school libraries, spanning from February to April. The materials considered for this analysis included books, movies, music, and periodicals. The amassed register data included 55 million observations, all from families who pick books from public libraries across Denmark. Afterward, the authors examined the socioeconomic gradient in library takeout, considering different coronavirus disease initial phases, including before, during, and after.

The result of this study showed that there was an increase in socioeconomic gradient, that is when comparing the value before and after the coronavirus disease lockdown measure. Meaning, families with higher income and education status had more access to study resources than those with low income and education. Also, immigrants exhibited a weaker socioeconomic gradient increase when compared to natives. The gradient was stronger in families with recent experience in borrowing books from libraries, as well as those with children within the early years of elementary schooling. Generally, the researchers concluded that there the pandemic heightened learning opportunities inequality, noting high socioeconomic status families had more success at utilizing library materials than those with low socioeconomic status during the lockdown.


Social inequality in society exists on all fronts, propagated by different means, including social stratification, social differentiation, and social distribution. While examining these two articles, Czymara, Langenkamp, and Cano (2020) delves much into gender inequality increase, querying whether stay at home order and lockdown measures amidst coronavirus pandemic may exacerbate gender inequality, while Jæger and Blaabæk (2020) researched learning opportunity inequality, considering families’ socioeconomic statuses. The former research workpiece is concerned with social differentiation principles, noting lockdown measures forced people to stay at home, thereby causing men and women to rethink gender roles. The later article covers social stratification, majorly unearthing social and economic gradient between families in Denmark, gauging their ability to foster their children’s learning progress. All in all, both works investigate significant inequality disparities that the world today, measuring whether they are increasing amidst coronavirus pandemic outbreak. It is worth noting that both research journals agree on COVID-19 adversity.

Both articles used authentic research methodology, thereby making their findings robust. In their research, Jæger and Blaabæk (2020) used the observation approach in order to retrieve data regarding library takeout in public libraries across Denmark. They made 55 million observations, a number that is high enough to provide robust information about learning opportunity inequality in the country. On the other hand, Czymara, Langenkamp, and Cano (2020) used the topic modeling method to examine 1,100 reports that were documented during the lockdown measure period. Both instances involved study approaches from legit sources, meaning inferences made had significant output on social inequality. Collectively, both works indicated inequality increment in their respective research topics.

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It is true beyond doubt that lockdown measures forced people to stay at home, forcing families to have more time together than before. Reflecting on my own case, I could see my father and mother argue a lot about our situations in the house, a case that was non-existent before the coronavirus pandemic. These arguments ranged from financial issues to duties around the homestead. I believe that lockdown escalated inequality concerns in society. Based on the research about learning opportunity inequality, I believe that social stratification is existent in our society. Achieving equality of opportunity is hard because of class issues. People will always be barred because of their parental backgrounds and that is why families with higher socioeconomic status could access library resources more than those from low socioeconomic statuses. Moreover, the difference in social and economic prowess is explicit in the way people access healthcare during the pandemic. For example, it is reported that people with underlying conditions succumb more to coronavirus disease – a group consisting mostly of low-income individuals. Generally, any pandemic will appear to exacerbate inequality in society on all fronts.


Social inequality is rampant in society; however, the pandemic emergence will always heighten this situation. While concentrating on learning opportunity inequality and gender inequality, these two articles considered the socioeconomic aspect, which undeniably is the social stratification benchmark in society. As long as people have different incomes and education, there will always be inequalities. This case has been aggravated by coronavirus disease. Unless awareness is not raised about its social inequality impact, COVID-19 will harm people globally. One major question raised in both articles is whether these adverse impacts will persist in the post coronavirus period. Based on this concern, these works forecast that there could be heightened inequality incidences. Mostly, in the case of gender inequality study, divergent gender roles are predicted even in the post coronavirus disease.


Czymara, Christian S., Langenkamp Alexander, and Cano Tomás. 2020. “Cause for concerns: gender inequality in experiencing the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany.” European Societies43(3):1-14.

Jæger, Mads Meier, and Blaabæk Ea Hoppe. 2020. “Inequality in learning opportunities during Covid-19: Evidence from library takeout.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 68:1-5.

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