Triage and Discrimination
At the time of writing, parts of the United States are exploding with protests against yet another police killing of a Black man and against the 400 years of systemic oppression, abuse, deprivation, and murder of Black people in a country built on slavery. In response, some British people are calling attention to the United Kingdom’s participation in the slave trade and the racial and ethnic discrimination that continues today. Concurrently, the UK COVID-19 death rates are disproportionately high among Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian people in the UK (OFN, 2020; Platt and Warwick, 2020), as well as among care home residents, carers, essential workers, and people living with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. The effects of the pandemic demonstrate the systemic social disparities of life and death in the UK. This is the context in which the authors consider Christian pandemic ethics, and this calls for a shift of focus away from pandemic ethics to what we are calling ‘pre-pandemic ethics’.