The Blind and the Coronavirus
By Bob Branco
May 22, 2020
The other day, I was speaking to a blind person about how this pandemic affected her. As it turned out, she is one of those individuals who believe that all of our American rights and freedoms have been taken away from us because of the shut down. It’s one thing if she believes that we lost our free America, but she also went on to say that her rights as a blind person are violated, and that she is being discriminated against because she cannot find a job right now.
Here is my very blunt reaction to those comments. First, nobody denies that blind people are discriminated against. It happened to me at one time or another. We get it. However, given the problems that exist right now throughout this country and throughout the world, I don’t think this is the right time for a blind person to cry discrimination. While this woman may be struggling to find work, there are over thirty eight million sighted people out of work. The Coronavirus crisis does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are sighted, blind, black, white, short, tall, French, Spanish, or any other language. When most of these sighted workers return to their jobs once the pandemic is over, then blind people will once again have reason to claim discrimination if they are turned away from jobs for reasons we are all familiar with. Now is not the time.