Home Care Workers Are Now Called Essential. But the History of the Profession Shows That the U.S. Has Never Treated Them as Such

Time.com | August 24, 2020

Since the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the groups that has been repeatedly identified as “essential” is home care workers, those who provide assistance with activities of daily living to the elderly, chronically ill and persons with disabilities. It has been encouraging to see this profession finally recognized as a heroic one; public officials from Gavin Newsom to Andrew Cuomo to Joe Biden have thanked them for their service and advocated for their safety over the last few months. But what has gone unsaid is that we, as a country, have treated home care workers as decidedly inessential, due in large part to the profession’s roots in slavery.

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