Living with a disability through the pandemic

Living with a disability through the pandemic

The pain that the pandemic has brought to people across the world has been exacerbated for those with disabilities, says a UN activist

“The world has completely ignored people with disabilities in the context of COVID,” says the UN’s Eddie Ndopu.

The South African activist has lived with spinal muscular atrophy since the age of two and uses his public platform to speak about rights for people living with disabilities. 

When Eddie says “I did not leave my apartment for an entire year” during the pandemic, he is speaking for a vast number of people.

Across the world, 1 billion people live with disabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been hit harder than most, and activists say this is being overlooked. 

For so many adults and children living with disabilities, the pandemic has increased social isolation and severely impacted access to care, doctors, hospitals, transport, education, employment and financial support. 

During emergencies like COVID, many are disproportionately affected. They could be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, which is why many have had to self-isolate throughout the pandemic, and some are continuing to shield now. Yet for many, isolating is impossible, particularly in low-income countries, where an estimated 80% of all the world’s people with disabilities live. 

Vaccines are needed to protect people with disabilities around the world. But for the millions living in low-income countries the supply of vaccines is still a huge problem.

Together, we can do better for all of the world’s people during this pandemic. Please watch and share our video today. And to hear more from Eddie Ndopu listen to the Awake At Night podcast.