“It became very clear to me that COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on people with health inequalities — things like housing, income, and racialization,” he said.
A lot of people who live in Thorncliffe Park to work in the health care sector, the service industry or a concert of the economy. About 90 percent of the population lives in apartment rental buildings, according to the 2016 census, many of which are social housing.
The community is growing at twice the rate of the city average, thanks in part to the high level of immigration. The rate of poverty is 45%, more than double the whole of Toronto.
The essential workers infect family
It is common for the area, a family works as a essential component of a worker “, generally low-income wages, often without benefits, has contracted the infection because of their profession, ” Powis said.
“When they returned home, they returned to an environment where there are a lot of people who live in a confined space … and then there’s the transmission to the inside of the house. ”
WATCH | Why Thorncliffe Park was vulnerable to the COVID-19:
So far, 137 people have been tested positive for the coronavirus in Thorncliffe Park, which is a rate of 649 per 100 000 people. By comparison, a similar community, Flemingdon Park, next to the door, has 520 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, while the more affluent adjacent neighbourhood of Leaside has just 137 cases per 100 000 inhabitants.
In response, Michael Garron Hospital earlier this month opened a test site right in the neighbourhood, in partnership with Health Access Thorncliffe Park and East Toronto Family Practice Network.
“If we can detect, isolate appropriately, we can get a better sense of the actual numbers in this community and ensure that there is not a great epidemic that has affected the community severely,” said Dr Nandini Sathi, a family doctor who works in the evaluation of the facility, which operates from the back of a shopping center.
Sathi told to talk to people who’ve sought out the tests has revealed the difficulties that underlie poor health outcomes, such as ” food insecurity or under-employment. ”
Darcy MacCallum, a community worker, Thorncliffe Park, there were large job losses in the neighborhood when the mass layoffs happened because of COVID-19 closures.
“There is a significant loss of income that has hit the community that was already struggling with poverty,” said MacCallum, director of the family and well-being The Area Of The Organizationa social well-being of the group, which operates in Toronto, in the low-income areas.
The work with volunteers, the organization has quickly established a food bank with a home-delivery service to prevent the family members from hunger during the shut-down measures.
“We see food as a sort of like a Band-Aid,” he said. “The food programme meets a very urgent need. It may take a bit of pressure on the households in order that they could begin to get their feet back underneath them again. ”
The temporary program runs from a warehouse space near the testing centre and 700 households in Thorncliffe Park.
“About 45% of people are older people,” MacCallum said. “The rest are family units and their size varies from four to 11. “
Thorncliffe Park, a “gateway” for new immigrants
Thorncliffe Park has long been considered a “gateway” to the community for newly arrived immigrants, but the increase in the cost of housing in the Greater Toronto Area has left some with no option other than to stay in the apartments, MacCallum said.
According to the census of 2016, about 42 percent of the population of the district live in inadequate housing, ” compared to 12% for the whole of Toronto.
A strong sense of community exists in Thorncliffe Park, and some residents are coming up with their own ways to support their neighbors.
Shaklo Sharipova, who left an ophthalmology career in Tajikistan in order to get the best care in Canada for his autistic son Ayub more than a decade, is to offer support to women after they have seen the people of his community who struggle financially and emotionally by the pandemic.
“I know of two families [in which] the woman has experienced domestic violence and they have moved into housing, ” she said. “This is why I have been posting in our social media group,” Please, people, if you’re struggling at home please let us know.’ ”
Sharipova lived with seven other members of his family in a three bedroom apartment in Thorncliffe Park, high-rise building, which feels even smaller since the construction crews had ripped off all the balconies in the framework of a renovation project. A lot of families with three children and members of the extended family such as hers, in overcrowed buildings.
She says it makes removal impossible, this is why the test is so important.
But Sharipova said she has met with some hesitation on getting the testing of the Thorncliffe Park assessment centre, where she also volunteers.
There is still misinformation circulating about the coronavirus, ” she said.
“Some of them are afraid,” she said. “I always say that it is safe. Come and test it. “