in: Maria dos Santos Gonçalves / Rebecca Gutwald / Tanja Kleibl / Ronald Lutz / Ndangwa Noyoo / Janestic Twikirize (eds.), The coronavirus crisis and challenges to social development, Cham: Springer, 55-65
As a medical condition, the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, infects everyone regardless of social status. However, the capacity to adhere to the recommended safety measures follows the contours of existing socioeconomic dynamics in which social inequality is a major determinant. This chapter addresses the socioeconomic dimension of COVID-19, paying particular attention to how people’s circumstances influence their capacity or lack thereof to practice the recommended safety measures in urban Zimbabwe. The chapter specifically discusses limited mobility, social distancing, self-isolation, handwashing/sanitizing, and wearing of masks as precautions against coronavirus infection and the practicability of these measures based on varied socioeconomic circumstances among residents in urban Zimbabwe. The chapter draws attention to the structuring of urban space in Zimbabwe and its intertwinement with socioeconomic factors in ways that render people living in economic precarity less capable of observing the recommended safety measures.