Summer Heat Will Worsen the Pandemic for poor Communities



Contributed date

May 1, 2020 - 3:12pm

Critical Commentary

What is going to happen in the summer when the economy is still shut down and people can’t afford to pay their electric bills and air condition their homes? This article, originally posted on, a nonprofit news organization, explores the questions that have been on a lot of people’s minds lately. High heat in the summer has always been an issue in low income and elderly communities. With the added risk of contracting Covid-19, these minorities are greatly at risk in the few coming months. It is predicted that 2020 will be one of the hottest years in history, which is sure to cause many problems. With high heat comes more pollution and health risks that increase respiratory issues, which is a main symptom of the virus. A quote that really sticks out in this article “Cities typically designate public cooling centers like libraries, or people may go to places like public pools or movie theaters for relief from the heat. But these places, if they’re even open, may be incubating centers for the virus. On the other hand, staying in a hot, energy efficient home may be just as dangerous.” This summer is going to be very different because if (and that’s a very big if) the economy opens up and people are able to start doing this again, there are still going to be many risks by trying to get back to normal. As the article states, being able to afford an air conditioning unit is not always the issue, it’s being able to afford to power that system and keep your home cool. Members of congress are trying to implement a utility shut off for the summer or until the economy stabilizes so people will be able to safely follow the stay at home orders in place while not further putting their life at risk. There are companies out there, such as EEFA, which go into older, energy inefficient homes and improve their infrastructure to make them more sustainable, but because of the current situation, everything is on hold and people are suffering. There are other programs in place, such as LIHEAP, which are meant to help low income families with their energy bills, but there is not nearly enough funding in place to help all the families suffering right now from the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic has brought up the need for reforms when it comes to energy bills such as income based payments and clean energy options. Just allowing people the option to comfortably stay in their homes would help keep the virus at bay and suspending energy payments and giving waivers is a good way to cogent people to stay at home.


Zhang, S. (2020, April 21). Summer Heat Will Worsen the Pandemic for Poor Communities. Retrieved April 29, 2020, from



Group Audience

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Cite as

Sharon Zhang, "Summer Heat Will Worsen the Pandemic for poor Communities", contributed by Quentin Gipson, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 1 May 2020, accessed 19 April 2024.