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Covid-19 Challenge Page Archive (2020): Home


                                    COVID-19 Challenge (2020)

This page is a source of the effects that the  COVID-19 pandemic has had on Rhode Island, the United States, and the world as a whole. It includes facts and statistics along with articles and documents of interest. The research is branched into multiple relevant topics that contribute to the overarching themes of poverty and social justice, as well as awareness. Please visit the links to learn more information or to help make a change. Remember that this page is an archive, therefore it contains information relating to COVID-19 only in 2020.

                                     To visit the 2022 COVID-19 Challenge page, visit this link: 2022 COVID-19 CHALLENGE

by Gianni Diarbi


Texas Family Struggles for Food Each Day



An Interview With Dawn Santos, House of Hope CDC

Please note: This interview was conducted in Summer 2020. To learn more about the mission of House of Hope CDC and ways to get involved, visit the link below.

House of Hope CDC

Q: What is your position at House of Hope CDC? What tasks do you complete, and who do you work with?

A: "I am the Property Manager, Donation Coordinator. I work with constituents that are homeless and assist with finding safe, secure housing."

Q: What is the most memorable experience that you have had at the House of Hope over your time volunteering?

A: "The most memorable time is handing someone their keys to their home that they can call their own."

Q: What are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people you serve?

A: "For those we serve it has further imbalanced the scales, making affordable housing even more challenging to maintain and obtain."

Q: How can someone work with the House of Hope to help make a difference in their community?

A: "Someone could hold collection drives that would provide basic needs and assistance with toiletries and food."

Q: Please share any additional information or experiences that you feel may feel is relevant to the guide.

A: "You are the true power behind all our work.  With the help of people like you assisting and spreading the word of how homelessness affects so many put the HOPE in House of Hope."


What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on healthcare employment?

Healthcare (Blue) & Non-Healthcare (Pink) Employment from January 1991 to May 2020

Link to Healthcare Article

This article explores statistics about the effect of the pandemic on healthcare employment. Some of the facts include:

  • From February to April 2020, more than 1.5 million healthcare jobs were lost.
  • 35% of these people who lost jobs work in dental practices. This sector of healthcare was hit hardest during the pandemic. 
  • Health service spending decreased 16% from February to March 2020 with the exception of hospitals. 
  • Various areas across the US experienced different degrees of healthcare-job loss as a result of coronavirus cases, local response efforts, economic circumstances and additional factors in the areas. 
Was someone in your family affected by healthcare job loss during the pandemic? If so, what sector did/does he/she work in?
Dentist Offices: 1 votes (2.5%)
Offices of Other Health Practitioners: 1 votes (2.5%)
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories: 4 votes (10%)
Physician Offices: 0 votes (0%)
Home Healthcare Services: 2 votes (5%)
Ambulatory Services: 3 votes (7.5%)
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities: 15 votes (37.5%)
Hospitals: 10 votes (25%)
Other: 4 votes (10%)
Total Votes: 40


Job Insecurity: Fast Facts

  • From the middle of March 2020 to early April 2020, 10 million American workers filed unemployment claims.
  • Industries directly impacted by the Coronavirus employ a collective 37 million American workers.
  • 27% of US workers in directly-impacted industries are between 18-24 years old. However, only a mere 9% of workers in non-directly impacted industries fall within this age group.

Brookings: "Who are the workers already impacted by the COVID-19 recession?"

Who's At Risk

chefs work in a busy kitchen

Chefs and kitchen staff are among workers with the least job security during the pandemic and lockdown.


A 550 Mile Fundraiser

Boston College Carroll School of Management: "Walking the Walk for the Homeless"

Gordon Wayne fist bumps a child after arriving on BC's campus

CSOM student, formerly homeless, walks from Virginia to BC to highlight his cause

An undergraduate management student at Boston College recently hit the news. Gordon Wayne '23 walked from his hometown in central Virginia to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts for move-in weekend. The transfer student was homeless for the past 14 months and lived out of his car while studying at a local community college. The purpose of his journey was to raise awareness for those in poverty that can not afford to travel more efficiently. As of Monday afternoon, Wayne's GoFundMe has raised $27,000 for the National Alliance to End Homelessness


  • Many people with disabilities have felt stressed during the pandemic as a result of critical medical resources being scarce and social isolation.
    • In addition, people with disabilities have been isolated more than those without disabilities. Thus, many of them are experiencing extreme loneliness. 
  •  According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, these stressors can lead to increased risks of heart disease, dementia, and other health issues. 
  • Although people who are disabled do not necessarily possess health problems, many of them have underlying aspects of their disability–like a suppressed immune system or a compromised respiratory system–that increase their risk of having severe symptoms of Covid 19. 


The Covid-19 Impact

The Public Theater in New York 

NPR: "What Will The Future Of Theater Look Like? 'Our Artists Are Going To Lead Us'"

This article explores the impact of the pandemic on various theaters and what these institutions have been doing during the shutdown. In addition, the article explores what those in the theater business believe the future of their industry will look like. 


CDC Frequently Asked Questions

As people return to their work environments, it is important to follow the CDC's safety precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

CDC: "General Business Frequently Asked Questions"

What should I do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms?

Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home. 


What does source control mean?

Source control is a term used to describe measures (e.g., cloth face coverings or face shields) intended to prevent people with COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others. Cloth face coverings and face shields are types of source control that provide a barrier between droplets produced from a potentially infected person and other people, reducing the likelihood of transmitting the virus.


Are cloth face coverings the same as personal protective equipment (PPE)?

No, cloth face coverings are not PPE. These face coverings are not respirators and are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where respirators are recommended or required for respiratory protection.


  • On April 16, 2020, just over a month after lockdowns began in the United States, Disney hosted a sing-along TV special on ABC.
  • It was hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featured artists such as Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bublé, Demi Lovato, and more!
  • On May 10, 2020, a "Volume II" was hosted by Ryan Seacrest featuring artists such as Katy Perry, John Legend, Shakira, Jennifer Hudson, Chloe x Halle, and more!
  • This was a great opportunity for celebrities to bring joy to fans and the general public during the pandemic.

Highlights: Check out these stunning performances from talented artists.

Chloe x Halle and Anika Noni Rose's performance

John Legend and Jennifer Hudson's Performance

Ariana Grande's Performance



An Interview With Karen A. Santilli, Crossroads Rhode Island

Please note: This interview was conducted in Summer 2020. To learn more about the mission of Crossroads Rhode Island and ways to get involved, visit the link below.

Crossroads Rhode Island

Crossroads COVID-19 Updates - Crossroads Rhode Island

Q: What is your position at Crossroads Rhode Island? What tasks do you complete, and who do you work with?

A: "I am President & CEO of Crossroads Rhode Island. I report to our Board of Directors and am ultimately responsible for all the programs/services and outcomes of the organization. I have a Leadership Team of 7 senior staff members representing each area of the organization and we plan and update regularly to be sure we are working towards achieving our mission. Tasks are generally higher level like setting policies, budgeting for the annual expenses/revenue, strategic planning, etc."


Q: What is the most memorable experience that you have had at Crossroads Rhode Island?

A: "I would have to say my most memorable experiences all involve the men and women that we helped move from homelessness into housing. There is one woman in particular who was actually living outside for quite a while and it was really hard but we finally moved her into an apartment. She asked me to visit and when I saw her in the safety of her own home, it really hit me. It was such a profound moment for her and our team."


Q: How has your work changed since the outbreaks of COVID-19? What types of differences have you noticed between your previous and current services?

A: "While our goal to help move as many people into housing as we can has not changed, how we do the work has changed. So much of what we are focusing on how is keeping people safe and healthy, whether they are in our shelter or housing programs. There so much unknown about what the future holds with this pandemic but we know we are working with so many vulnerable men, women, and children who can't always safely socially distance or keep up good hygiene. We are spending lots of time and resources helping to educate them on the virus, provide them with supplies they need to stay safe and ensure they don't end up homeless again - particularly during this difficult time."


Q: Please share any additional information or experiences that you feel may feel is relevant to the studies of COVID-19 and homelessness.

A: "I would say we are in unprecedented times with this pandemic and lack of affordable housing. Now more than ever we see how important having a safe place to live. We often say 'Housing is Health' and we certainly have experienced that over the last five months. It doesn't have to be this way. We know the solution to homelessness is housing."


Q: How can someone work with Crossroads RI to make a difference in their community?​

A: "There are many ways people can make a difference. One is becoming educated about who becomes homeless and dispel the many negative stereotypes that people have of those experiencing homelessness.  Another way is to vote and let your voice be heard on important issues related to housing. Rhode Island is a very expensive place to live and there simply are not enough affordable housing apartments for individuals and families to rent and maintain. We often benefit from donations/in-kind drives of items our clients in a shelter can use such as personal care items, basic housing, and food items."


First Wave: Fast Facts

CBS News: "IRS says first wave of coronavirus stimulus payments have been deposited"

  • In March 2020, the federal US government passed a $2.2 trillion economic relief package.
  • The first wave of stimulus checks was sent to American taxpayers around April 12. 
  • Individual taxpayers whose AGI (adjusted gross income) was under $75,000 were granted $1,200. Those who make larger salaries received less.
  • Married couples who have an AGI under $150,000 received $2,400.
  • All taxpayers who are parents were given $500 per child. 
  • Individuals with an AGI of $99,000, or couples making $198,000, were not eligible for payments.