Coronavirus Strains Safety Net for People With Disabilities

Coronavirus Strains Safety Net for People With Disabilities

Damian Gregory worries about the things that have quickly become normal to worry about in the coronavirus era: Is there Clorox at the grocery store this week? When will social distancing end? Will he and his family stay healthy until a vaccine is found?

But the 46-year-old consultant and advocate, who has cerebral palsy, says he carries an extra layer of fear.

He has to worry if he will be able to navigate in his wheelchair at the store or arrange for services to transport him. He wonders when social distancing will end so his twin brother, who has a more severe form of cerebral palsy, can welcome back the personal care assistant who used to help him wake, eat, dress and go to work every day…

“When the able-bodied community gets the sniffles, we get pneumonia,” Mr. Gregory said of people with disabilities. “The difficulties are multiplied 10-fold.”

For millions of the nation’s people with disabilities, the retreat forced by the coronavirus is stripping away much of the patchwork safety net that helps them maintain independent lives.

About one in four Americans has some form of disability, and though a much smaller fraction have what is considered a severe condition, they are among the most vulnerable population for Covid-19…

Read more at the Wall Street Journal…