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We live in unprecedented times. But what makes them without parallel is not the current pandemic crisis nor the continued problems facing minorities in our institutions. Rather, it’s that for the first time, the problems of accessibility, rights and freedoms are now invading privileged spaces. There can be no ‘getting back to normal’, because ‘normal’ only ever benefited the white, Western, patriarchal, abled and cis ideals. For many, the world is not suddenly on fire; it has long been burning.
The present pandemic lays bare systemic prejudice against the most vulnerable among us. We at Medical Humanities, with our focus on global health and social justice, welcome discussion about how the crisis has disproportionately affected racial and fiscal minorities, those from the disabled community, those who are LGBTQA+ and other vulnerable groups. What we focus on here, now, can lead to greater accessibility and equity in the future.
In this expanded issue, we offer some of the incredible work being done across the field of medical humanities prior to the COVID-19 crisis, and we are already reviewing articles on the role of health humanities during the pandemic. The process of academic publishing tends not to lend itself to immediacy, however, and the challenges of pandemic means greater pressure on everyone, from the authors to the reviewers and readers.
To remedy this, we at Medical Humanities have been increasing the work on our blog platform, a place where content can be quickly updated, and where conversations can occur among readers and writers. We openly invite submissions concerning the virus, as well as topics relevant to our wider CFP (call for posts/papers) this year on social justice and health, to both blog and journal. We will do our best to expedite. Finally, we have also been addressing social justice and access in our podcast, where we interviewed disability activist Alice Wong and most recently Dr Oni Blackstock, primary care physician and HIV specialist in New York. We hope to have many more on these critical subjects.
We wish all of you good health and safety and know that many of you are yet on the front lines. Thank you for being part of the community of Medical Humanities.
Competing interests None declared.