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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

write essay in covid 19

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

write essay in covid 19

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

write essay in covid 19

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

write essay in covid 19

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

write essay in covid 19

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

write essay in covid 19

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

write essay in covid 19

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

write essay in covid 19

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

write essay in covid 19

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


write essay in covid 19

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  • Essays on the Post-COVID-19 World

How will/should the world change? The corona crisis as an interdisciplinary challenge

by  Véronique Zanetti (ZiF Bielefeld, Germany),  G. Ary Plons ki (UBIAS, IEA São Paulo, Brazil) and  Britta Padberg (ZiF Bielefeld, Germany) | Originally posted on the blog  Interdisciplinarity

Heavily shaken by the corona pandemics many of us are currently thinking about how we could contribute to overcome this unprecedented situation. The COVID-19 crisis not only challenges disease control and crisis management, but may also have long-term and far-reaching impacts on states, societies and international cooperation. There are increasing indications that the world will look different after the crisis and that globalization will be questioned in many areas. According to these observations, the COVID-19 crisis would mark a turning point. In times of deep uncertainty, science is asked to look to the future and to flank a rational discourse about how to react to the current global crisis, and therefore now better cope with other tantamount global challenges such as the climate change.

Since this challenge is genuinely interdisciplinary, Institutes for Advanced Studies are rich pools to fish for visionary ideas and scientific observations. We are very happy that a number of distinguished and young scholars from different fields and countries agreed to write short essays on how the world will change and how it should change. The pieces will be posted bit by bit, two texts per week. Since science and art make a good couple in developing a good sensorium for tectonic shifts we also asked the comic artist Oliver Grajewski to complement and contrast the academic way of thinking. He will deliver one short comic series each week.

We hope that the blog will contribute to sketching out ideas of a world that is more sustainable, fairer and fit for the future and are very much looking forward to lively discussions.

Selected contributions

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Health and Human Rights Journal

STUDENT ESSAY The Disproportional Impact of COVID-19 on African Americans

Volume 22/2, December 2020, pp 299-307

Maritza Vasquez Reyes


We all have been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact of the pandemic and its consequences are felt differently depending on our status as individuals and as members of society. While some try to adapt to working online, homeschooling their children and ordering food via Instacart, others have no choice but to be exposed to the virus while keeping society functioning. Our different social identities and the social groups we belong to determine our inclusion within society and, by extension, our vulnerability to epidemics.

COVID-19 is killing people on a large scale. As of October 10, 2020, more than 7.7 million people across every state in the United States and its four territories had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the New York Times database, at least 213,876 people with the virus have died in the United States. [1] However, these alarming numbers give us only half of the picture; a closer look at data by different social identities (such as class, gender, age, race, and medical history) shows that minorities have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic. These minorities in the United States are not having their right to health fulfilled.

According to the World Health Organization’s report Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health , “poor and unequal living conditions are the consequences of deeper structural conditions that together fashion the way societies are organized—poor social policies and programs, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics.” [2] This toxic combination of factors as they play out during this time of crisis, and as early news on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic pointed out, is disproportionately affecting African American communities in the United States. I recognize that the pandemic has had and is having devastating effects on other minorities as well, but space does not permit this essay to explore the impact on other minority groups.

Employing a human rights lens in this analysis helps us translate needs and social problems into rights, focusing our attention on the broader sociopolitical structural context as the cause of the social problems. Human rights highlight the inherent dignity and worth of all people, who are the primary rights-holders. [3] Governments (and other social actors, such as corporations) are the duty-bearers, and as such have the obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. [4] Human rights cannot be separated from the societal contexts in which they are recognized, claimed, enforced, and fulfilled. Specifically, social rights, which include the right to health, can become important tools for advancing people’s citizenship and enhancing their ability to participate as active members of society. [5] Such an understanding of social rights calls our attention to the concept of equality, which requires that we place a greater emphasis on “solidarity” and the “collective.” [6] Furthermore, in order to generate equality, solidarity, and social integration, the fulfillment of social rights is not optional. [7] In order to fulfill social integration, social policies need to reflect a commitment to respect and protect the most vulnerable individuals and to create the conditions for the fulfillment of economic and social rights for all.

Disproportional impact of COVID-19 on African Americans

As noted by Samuel Dickman et al.:

economic inequality in the US has been increasing for decades and is now among the highest in developed countries … As economic inequality in the US has deepened, so too has inequality in health. Both overall and government health spending are higher in the US than in other countries, yet inadequate insurance coverage, high-cost sharing by patients, and geographical barriers restrict access to care for many. [8]

For instance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2018, 11.7% of African Americans in the United States had no health insurance, compared to 7.5% of whites. [9]

Prior to the Affordable Care Act—enacted into law in 2010—about 20% of African Americans were uninsured. This act helped lower the uninsured rate among nonelderly African Americans by more than one-third between 2013 and 2016, from 18.9% to 11.7%. However, even after the law’s passage, African Americans have higher uninsured rates than whites (7.5%) and Asian Americans (6.3%). [10] The uninsured are far more likely than the insured to forgo needed medical visits, tests, treatments, and medications because of cost.

As the COVID-19 virus made its way throughout the United States, testing kits were distributed equally among labs across the 50 states, without consideration of population density or actual needs for testing in those states. An opportunity to stop the spread of the virus during its early stages was missed, with serious consequences for many Americans. Although there is a dearth of race-disaggregated data on the number of people tested, the data that are available highlight African Americans’ overall lack of access to testing. For example, in Kansas, as of June 27, according to the COVID Racial Data Tracker, out of 94,780 tests, only 4,854 were from black Americans and 50,070 were from whites. However, blacks make up almost a third of the state’s COVID-19 deaths (59 of 208). And while in Illinois the total numbers of confirmed cases among blacks and whites were almost even, the test numbers show a different picture: 220,968 whites were tested, compared to only 78,650 blacks. [11]

Similarly, American Public Media reported on the COVID-19 mortality rate by race/ethnicity through July 21, 2020, including Washington, DC, and 45 states (see figure 1). These data, while showing an alarming death rate for all races, demonstrate how minorities are hit harder and how, among minority groups, the African American population in many states bears the brunt of the pandemic’s health impact.

write essay in covid 19

Approximately 97.9 out of every 100,000 African Americans have died from COVID-19, a mortality rate that is a third higher than that for Latinos (64.7 per 100,000), and more than double than that for whites (46.6 per 100,000) and Asians (40.4 per 100,000). The overrepresentation of African Americans among confirmed COVID-19 cases and number of deaths underscores the fact that the coronavirus pandemic, far from being an equalizer, is amplifying or even worsening existing social inequalities tied to race, class, and access to the health care system.

Considering how African Americans and other minorities are overrepresented among those getting infected and dying from COVID-19, experts recommend that more testing be done in minority communities and that more medical services be provided. [12] Although the law requires insurers to cover testing for patients who go to their doctor’s office or who visit urgent care or emergency rooms, patients are fearful of ending up with a bill if their visit does not result in a COVID test. Furthermore, minority patients who lack insurance or are underinsured are less likely to be tested for COVID-19, even when experiencing alarming symptoms. These inequitable outcomes suggest the importance of increasing the number of testing centers and contact tracing in communities where African Americans and other minorities reside; providing testing beyond symptomatic individuals; ensuring that high-risk communities receive more health care workers; strengthening social provision programs to address the immediate needs of this population (such as food security, housing, and access to medicines); and providing financial protection for currently uninsured workers.

Social determinants of health and the pandemic’s impact on African Americans’ health outcomes

In international human rights law, the right to health is a claim to a set of social arrangements—norms, institutions, laws, and enabling environment—that can best secure the enjoyment of this right. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights sets out the core provision relating to the right to health under international law (article 12). [13] The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is the body responsible for interpreting the covenant. [14] In 2000, the committee adopted a general comment on the right to health recognizing that the right to health is closely related to and dependent on the realization of other human rights. [15] In addition, this general comment interprets the right to health as an inclusive right extending not only to timely and appropriate health care but also to the determinants of health. [16] I will reflect on four determinants of health—racism and discrimination, poverty, residential segregation, and underlying medical conditions—that have a significant impact on the health outcomes of African Americans.

Racism and discrimination

In spite of growing interest in understanding the association between the social determinants of health and health outcomes, for a long time many academics, policy makers, elected officials, and others were reluctant to identify racism as one of the root causes of racial health inequities. [17] To date, many of the studies conducted to investigate the effect of racism on health have focused mainly on interpersonal racial and ethnic discrimination, with comparatively less emphasis on investigating the health outcomes of structural racism. [18] The latter involves interconnected institutions whose linkages are historically rooted and culturally reinforced. [19] In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, acts of discrimination are taking place in a variety of contexts (for example, social, political, and historical). In some ways, the pandemic has exposed existing racism and discrimination.

Poverty (low-wage jobs, insurance coverage, homelessness, and jails and prisons)

Data drawn from the 2018 Current Population Survey to assess the characteristics of low-income families by race and ethnicity shows that of the 7.5 million low-income families with children in the United States, 20.8% were black or African American (while their percentage of the population in 2018 was only 13.4%). [20] Low-income racial and ethnic minorities tend to live in densely populated areas and multigenerational households. These living conditions make it difficult for low-income families to take necessary precautions for their safety and the safety of their loved ones on a regular basis. [21] This fact becomes even more crucial during a pandemic.

Low-wage jobs: The types of work where people in some racial and ethnic groups are overrepresented can also contribute to their risk of getting sick with COVID-19. Nearly 40% of African American workers, more than seven million, are low-wage workers and have jobs that deny them even a single paid sick day. Workers without paid sick leave might be more likely to continue to work even when they are sick. [22] This can increase workers’ exposure to other workers who may be infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control has noted that many African Americans who hold low-wage but essential jobs (such as food service, public transit, and health care) are required to continue to interact with the public, despite outbreaks in their communities, which exposes them to higher risks of COVID-19 infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter of employed Hispanic and black or African American workers are employed in service industry jobs, compared to 16% of non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans make up 12% of all employed workers but account for 30% of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, who face significant exposure to the coronavirus. [23]

In 2018, 45% of low-wage workers relied on an employer for health insurance. This situation forces low-wage workers to continue to go to work even when they are not feeling well. Some employers allow their workers to be absent only when they test positive for COVID-19. Given the way the virus spreads, by the time a person knows they are infected, they have likely already infected many others in close contact with them both at home and at work. [24]

Homelessness : Staying home is not an option for the homeless. African Americans, despite making up just 13% of the US population, account for about 40% of the nation’s homeless population, according to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. [25] Given that people experiencing homelessness often live in close quarters, have compromised immune systems, and are aging, they are exceptionally vulnerable to communicable diseases—including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Jails and prisons : Nearly 2.2 million people are in US jails and prisons, the highest rate in the world. According to the US Bureau of Justice, in 2018, the imprisonment rate among black men was 5.8 times that of white men, while the imprisonment rate among black women was 1.8 times the rate among white women. [26] This overrepresentation of African Americans in US jails and prisons is another indicator of the social and economic inequality affecting this population.

According to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 14, “states are under the obligation to respect the right to health by, inter alia , refraining from denying or limiting equal access for all persons—including prisoners or detainees, minorities, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants—to preventive, curative, and palliative health services.” [27] Moreover, “states have an obligation to ensure medical care for prisoners at least equivalent to that available to the general population.” [28] However, there has been a very limited response to preventing transmission of the virus within detention facilities, which cannot achieve the physical distancing needed to effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19. [29]

Residential segregation

Segregation affects people’s access to healthy foods and green space. It can also increase excess exposure to pollution and environmental hazards, which in turn increases the risk for diabetes and heart and kidney diseases. [30] African Americans living in impoverished, segregated neighborhoods may live farther away from grocery stores, hospitals, and other medical facilities. [31] These and other social and economic inequalities, more so than any genetic or biological predisposition, have also led to higher rates of African Americans contracting the coronavirus. To this effect, sociologist Robert Sampson states that the coronavirus is exposing class and race-based vulnerabilities. He refers to this factor as “toxic inequality,” especially the clustering of COVID-19 cases by community, and reminds us that African Americans, even if they are at the same level of income or poverty as white Americans or Latino Americans, are much more likely to live in neighborhoods that have concentrated poverty, polluted environments, lead exposure, higher rates of incarceration, and higher rates of violence. [32]

Many of these factors lead to long-term health consequences. The pandemic is concentrating in urban areas with high population density, which are, for the most part, neighborhoods where marginalized and minority individuals live. In times of COVID-19, these concentrations place a high burden on the residents and on already stressed hospitals in these regions. Strategies most recommended to control the spread of COVID-19—social distancing and frequent hand washing—are not always practical for those who are incarcerated or for the millions who live in highly dense communities with precarious or insecure housing, poor sanitation, and limited access to clean water.

Underlying health conditions

African Americans have historically been disproportionately diagnosed with chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes—underlying conditions that may make COVID-19 more lethal. Perhaps there has never been a pandemic that has brought these disparities so vividly into focus.

Doctor Anthony Fauci, an immunologist who has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, has noted that “it is not that [African Americans] are getting infected more often. It’s that when they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions … wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give them a higher death rate.” [33]

One of the highest risk factors for COVID-19-related death among African Americans is hypertension. A recent study by Khansa Ahmad et al. analyzed the correlation between poverty and cardiovascular diseases, an indicator of why so many black lives are lost in the current health crisis. The authors note that the American health care system has not yet been able to address the higher propensity of lower socioeconomic classes to suffer from cardiovascular disease. [34] Besides having higher prevalence of chronic conditions compared to whites, African Americans experience higher death rates. These trends existed prior to COVID-19, but this pandemic has made them more visible and worrisome.

Addressing the impact of COVID-19 on African Americans: A human rights-based approach

The racially disparate death rate and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discriminatory enforcement of pandemic-related restrictions stand in stark contrast to the United States’ commitment to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. In 1965, the United States signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which it ratified in 1994. Article 2 of the convention contains fundamental obligations of state parties, which are further elaborated in articles 5, 6, and 7. [35] Article 2 of the convention stipulates that “each State Party shall take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists” and that “each State Party shall prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization.” [36]

Perhaps this crisis will not only greatly affect the health of our most vulnerable community members but also focus public attention on their rights and safety—or lack thereof. Disparate COVID-19 mortality rates among the African American population reflect longstanding inequalities rooted in systemic and pervasive problems in the United States (for example, racism and the inadequacy of the country’s health care system). As noted by Audrey Chapman, “the purpose of a human right is to frame public policies and private behaviors so as to protect and promote the human dignity and welfare of all members and groups within society, particularly those who are vulnerable and poor, and to effectively implement them.” [37] A deeper awareness of inequity and the role of social determinants demonstrates the importance of using right to health paradigms in response to the pandemic.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has proposed some guidelines regarding states’ obligation to fulfill economic and social rights: availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality. These four interrelated elements are essential to the right to health. They serve as a framework to evaluate states’ performance in relation to their obligation to fulfill these rights. In the context of this pandemic, it is worthwhile to raise the following questions: What can governments and nonstate actors do to avoid further marginalizing or stigmatizing this and other vulnerable populations? How can health justice and human rights-based approaches ground an effective response to the pandemic now and build a better world afterward? What can be done to ensure that responses to COVID-19 are respectful of the rights of African Americans? These questions demand targeted responses not just in treatment but also in prevention. The following are just some initial reflections:

First, we need to keep in mind that treating people with respect and human dignity is a fundamental obligation, and the first step in a health crisis. This includes the recognition of the inherent dignity of people, the right to self-determination, and equality for all individuals. A commitment to cure and prevent COVID-19 infections must be accompanied by a renewed commitment to restore justice and equity.

Second, we need to strike a balance between mitigation strategies and the protection of civil liberties, without destroying the economy and material supports of society, especially as they relate to minorities and vulnerable populations. As stated in the Siracusa Principles, “[state restrictions] are only justified when they support a legitimate aim and are: provided for by law, strictly necessary, proportionate, of limited duration, and subject to review against abusive applications.” [38] Therefore, decisions about individual and collective isolation and quarantine must follow standards of fair and equal treatment and avoid stigma and discrimination against individuals or groups. Vulnerable populations require direct consideration with regard to the development of policies that can also protect and secure their inalienable rights.

Third, long-term solutions require properly identifying and addressing the underlying obstacles to the fulfillment of the right to health, particularly as they affect the most vulnerable. For example, we need to design policies aimed at providing universal health coverage, paid family leave, and sick leave. We need to reduce food insecurity, provide housing, and ensure that our actions protect the climate. Moreover, we need to strengthen mental health and substance abuse services, since this pandemic is affecting people’s mental health and exacerbating ongoing issues with mental health and chemical dependency. As noted earlier, violations of the human rights principles of equality and nondiscrimination were already present in US society prior to the pandemic. However, the pandemic has caused “an unprecedented combination of adversities which presents a serious threat to the mental health of entire populations, and especially to groups in vulnerable situations.” [39] As Dainius Pūras has noted, “the best way to promote good mental health is to invest in protective environments in all settings.” [40] These actions should take place as we engage in thoughtful conversations that allow us to assess the situation, to plan and implement necessary interventions, and to evaluate their effectiveness.

Finally, it is important that we collect meaningful, systematic, and disaggregated data by race, age, gender, and class. Such data are useful not only for promoting public trust but for understanding the full impact of this pandemic and how different systems of inequality intersect, affecting the lived experiences of minority groups and beyond. It is also important that such data be made widely available, so as to enhance public awareness of the problem and inform interventions and public policies.

In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.” [41] More than 54 years later, African Americans still suffer from injustices that are at the basis of income and health disparities. We know from previous experiences that epidemics place increased demands on scarce resources and enormous stress on social and economic systems.

A deeper understanding of the social determinants of health in the context of the current crisis, and of the role that these factors play in mediating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African Americans’ health outcomes, increases our awareness of the indivisibility of all human rights and the collective dimension of the right to health. We need a more explicit equity agenda that encompasses both formal and substantive equality. [42] Besides nondiscrimination and equality, participation and accountability are equally crucial.

Unfortunately, as suggested by the limited available data, African American communities and other minorities in the United States are bearing the brunt of the current pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has served to unmask higher vulnerabilities and exposure among people of color. A thorough reflection on how to close this gap needs to start immediately. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is more than just a health crisis—it is disrupting and affecting every aspect of life (including family life, education, finances, and agricultural production)—it requires a multisectoral approach. We need to build stronger partnerships among the health care sector and other social and economic sectors. Working collaboratively to address the many interconnected issues that have emerged or become visible during this pandemic—particularly as they affect marginalized and vulnerable populations—offers a more effective strategy.

Moreover, as Delan Devakumar et al. have noted:

the strength of a healthcare system is inseparable from broader social systems that surround it. Health protection relies not only on a well-functioning health system with universal coverage, which the US could highly benefit from, but also on social inclusion, justice, and solidarity. In the absence of these factors, inequalities are magnified and scapegoating persists, with discrimination remaining long after. [43]

This current public health crisis demonstrates that we are all interconnected and that our well-being is contingent on that of others. A renewed and healthy society is possible only if governments and public authorities commit to reducing vulnerability and the impact of ill-health by taking steps to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to health. [44] It requires that government and nongovernment actors establish policies and programs that promote the right to health in practice. [45] It calls for a shared commitment to justice and equality for all.

Maritza Vasquez Reyes, MA, LCSW, CCM, is a PhD student and Research and Teaching Assistant at the UConn School of Social Work, University of Connecticut, Hartford, USA.

Please address correspondence to the author. Email: [email protected].

Competing interests: None declared.

Copyright © 2020 Vasquez Reyes. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

[1] “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest map and case count,” New York Times (October 10, 2020). Available at

[2] World Health Organization Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2008), p. 1.

[3] S. Hertel and L. Minkler, Economic rights: Conceptual, measurement, and policy issues (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); S. Hertel and K. Libal, Human rights in the United States: Beyond exceptionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); D. Forsythe, Human rights in international relations , 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

[4] Danish Institute for Human Rights, National action plans on business and human rights (Copenhagen: Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2014).

[5] J. R. Blau and A. Moncada, Human rights: Beyond the liberal vision (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005).

[6] J. R. Blau. “Human rights: What the United States might learn from the rest of the world and, yes, from American sociology,” Sociological Forum 31/4 (2016), pp. 1126–1139; K. G. Young and A. Sen, The future of economic and social rights (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

[7] Young and Sen (see note 6).

[8] S. Dickman, D. Himmelstein, and S. Woolhandler, “Inequality and the health-care system in the USA,” Lancet , 389/10077 (2017), p. 1431.

[9] S. Artega, K. Orgera, and A. Damico, “Changes in health insurance coverage and health status by race and ethnicity, 2010–2018 since the ACA,” KFF (March 5, 2020). Available at

[10] H. Sohn, “Racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage: Dynamics of gaining and losing coverage over the life-course,” Population Research and Policy Review 36/2 (2017), pp. 181–201.

[11] Atlantic Monthly Group, COVID tracking project . Available at . 

[12] “Why the African American community is being hit hard by COVID-19,” Healthline (April 13, 2020). Available at

[13] World Health Organization, 25 questions and answers on health and human rights (Albany: World Health Organization, 2002).

[14] Ibid; Hertel and Libal (see note 3).

[17] Z. Bailey, N. Krieger, M. Agénor et al., “Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: Evidence and interventions,” Lancet 389/10077 (2017), pp. 1453–1463.

[20] US Census. Available at

[21] M. Simms, K. Fortuny, and E. Henderson, Racial and ethnic disparities among low-income families (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Publications, 2009).

[23] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups (2020). Available at

[24] Artega et al. (see note 9).

[25] K. Allen, “More than 50% of homeless families are black, government report finds,” ABC News (January 22, 2020). Available at

[26] A. Carson, Prisoners in 2018 (US Department of Justice, 2020). Available at

[27] United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 14, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health, UN Doc. E/C.12/2000/4 (2000).

[28] J. J. Amon, “COVID-19 and detention,” Health and Human Rights 22/1 (2020), pp. 367–370.

[30] L. Pirtle and N. Whitney, “Racial capitalism: A fundamental cause of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic inequities in the United States,” Health Education and Behavior 47/4 (2020), pp. 504–508.

[31] Ibid; R. Sampson, “The neighborhood context of well-being,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46/3 (2003), pp. S53–S64.

[32] C. Walsh, “Covid-19 targets communities of color,” Harvard Gazette (April 14, 2020). Available at

[33] B. Lovelace Jr., “White House officials worry the coronavirus is hitting African Americans worse than others,” CNBC News (April 7, 2020). Available at

[34] K. Ahmad, E. W. Chen, U. Nazir, et al., “Regional variation in the association of poverty and heart failure mortality in the 3135 counties of the United States,” Journal of the American Heart Association 8/18 (2019).

[35] D. Desierto, “We can’t breathe: UN OHCHR experts issue joint statement and call for reparations” (EJIL Talk), Blog of the European Journal of International Law (June 5, 2020). Available at

[36] International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, G. A. Res. 2106 (XX) (1965), art. 2.

[37] A. Chapman, Global health, human rights and the challenge of neoliberal policies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), p. 17.

[38] N. Sun, “Applying Siracusa: A call for a general comment on public health emergencies,” Health and Human Rights Journal (April 23, 2020).

[39] D. Pūras, “COVID-19 and mental health: Challenges ahead demand changes,” Health and Human Rights Journal (May 14, 2020).

[41] M. Luther King Jr, “Presentation at the Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights,” Chicago, March 25, 1966.

[42] Chapman (see note 35).

[43] D. Devakumar, G. Shannon, S. Bhopal, and I. Abubakar, “Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses,” Lancet 395/10231 (2020), p. 1194.

[44] World Health Organization (see note 12).

  • How it works

post sub header icon image

How to Write an Essay on Covid-19

Published by Ellie Cross at January 31st, 2023 , Revised On February 3, 2023


Writing an academic essay on COVID-19 is no different than writing a general-topic academic essay. However, the only difference is that this is a topic that has to do with an ongoing pandemic. Research is continuously being conducted and existing ones being modified based on new data.

That poses a challenge to writing an essay on COVID-19 regarding what material to refer to, which study to highlight, etc. But hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will have a clearer idea about where to start, how to best approach this sort of topic and what to include (or not include) to make your COVID-19 academic essay stand from others’.

Following is a step-by-step procedure that you might want to stick to before crafting the perfect COVID-19 essay.

Steps to Writing the Perfect Covid-19 Academic Essay

Step # 1 – decode the stated topic.

The first important factor determining what kind of reading you’ll be doing for your academic essay is the topic. Observe the topic you’ve been assigned closely. Identify any verbs mentioned, and if not, what does the case generally ask you to do? Does it require you to ‘analyze,’ ‘evaluate,’ ‘list,’ ‘compare and contrast’? The action it requires you to take shall guide the type of reading and the sources for reading you should turn to.

Step # 2 – Do your Background Reading and Research

Based on the kind of essay assigned to you (evaluate, list, analyze, etc.), you can start your reading. Now the main question you need to answer is, where to start from? For writing academic essays, you can refer to the following types of sources:

  • Published research journals
  • Websites/blogs/forums

However, since you’ll be reading for COVID-19 —a current pandemic—you won’t find many published books.

Tip: To help narrow down your search and save you time, here are some reliable sources of each kind listed above:

  • For published journals: WHO , SAGE Journals, CDC , NEJM .
  • For articles: APA , NIH .
  • For newspapers: The New York Times

Step # 3 – Brainstorm

This goes for all sorts of writing, too. Now that you’ve broken down your topic and gathered background information, brainstorm. An excellent method to do so is to make thought bubbles: draw a bubble in the center of a page, with lines jutting out of it in every direction and pointing to a different element. As elements, write down all the things you’ll be addressing in your essay.

For instance, if it’s an informative essay, your brainstorming would result in something that looks like this:

Step # 4 – Craft an outline

Now that you’ve listed all the issues your essay will discuss, it’s time to organize them all—from most to least essential or significant to a minor—in a logical format. This will be your essay outline . You must stick to it to ensure maximum coherence between points as well as paragraphs .

For example , if your essay lists only the COVID-19 statistics related to older people, start by listing what ages come under this specific group. Then form an outline as such:

…and so on.

Step # 5 – Determine the Structure

Deciding on an essay structure isn’t the same as crafting an outline. Be careful not to confuse the two. An outline is just that, an outline. But a structure is how you intend to follow that outline. So, your academic essay on COVID-19 should follow a structure based on:

  • Topic sentence: Present your essay’s main idea, linking it to your thesis statement .
  • Evidence: Since there’s new research on Corona being published each passing second, it’s crucial to present the most critical evidence first. It has to be associated with the topic you’ve been assigned. Next, mention the research gap (if any) between already conducted research and the one you’ll present in your essay.
  • Add statistics: When it comes to diseases, there’s much, much crucial statistical data and figures to be listed. Make sure you present your COVID-19 -related facts and figures where necessary, when necessary. They should be from reliable sources, such as WHO.
  • Support the evidence: Why have you presented chosen evidence? Why is it important? How does it relate to your topic sentence?
  • Conclusion: Wrap up your main thesis points. It’s important to remember not to add any new information than what’s already been mentioned in your essay.

Step # 6 – Set Word Boundaries

After listing down the things you will be discussing in your essay, it’s essential to note down how many words you’ll be devoting to each section, the length of paragraphs, and the like. It’s never a good thing to exceed the given essay word limit. Be brief where necessary, and explain where necessary.

Sticking to a predetermined format for an essay on COVID-19 —a topic on which new and detailed research and data are continuously being released—will ensure:

  • l you don’t stray from the topic assigned to you.
  • L mention all the required information, facts and/or figures.
  • l do justice to every section of your essay.

Tip: As a good starting point, you can follow what Oxford Essay states: “ First, figure out how many points you need to identify. Each point is likely to equate to one paragraph of your paper, so if you are writing a 1500-word essay (and you use 300 words for the introduction and conclusion), you will be left with 1200 words, which means you will need between 5-6 paragraphs (and 5-6 points) .”

Step # 7 – Start Writing!

Now that you have all the information and blueprint for your essay on COVID-19 , you can start writing it.

There are other things to keep in mind, too, before starting your academic essay on COVID-19 . The most important ones are being discussed next.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Writing an Academic Essay on Covid-19

  • Keep your essay academic throughout: You will be downgraded on your paper if it’s academic only initially or only when you’re quoting COVID-19 researches, stats, and figures. The tone should remain academic and, thereby, neutral throughout.
  • Reference correctly: Since you will be referencing quite a few sources, make sure you don’t miss out on any reference. It doesn’t matter whether your essay is in APA, MLA or any other format; referring should be done as needed. Re-read your article one last time to make sure you haven’t left out any reference. This goes for both in-text and citation references.

If you include data that is bound to change, such as a lab test result that hasn’t been released yet, mention as such in your essay. You can also reference it accordingly, so the reader, when accessing that source, knows this. This is how you keep your heads up-to-date.

  • Stick to the format consistently: Whether you’re writing the essay in APA or any other form, stick to that format’s rules in every section of the report. Citations, headings, facts, figures, tables (if any), images, etc. – everything has to follow the format consistently.
  • Avoid personal bias: Unless it’s an essay where you’re required to voice your own opinions, avoid including any personal preference. This can be in the form of (but not limited to) mentioning how you or your family was affected by COVID-19 ; how you or someone you know lost their job and what led to; financial issues you’re facing COVID-19’s and so on.
  • Follow the 7 C’s: Writing an essay on a pandemic that won’t dull down can be pretty overwhelming. Not only is it a leading cause of stress right now, but even the information that keeps pouring in can become tricky to organize in an essay.

So, suppose you want to communicate something as diverse and dynamic as COVID-19 and its ongoing effects on the world. In that case, it’s a good idea to stick to the 7 C’s of communication. They are: clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.

  • Proofread your essay carefully: Although this goes for any writing, in the case of an essay on COVID-19, you will also have to proofread things like statistical facts, figures, whether you’ve referenced them correctly to the sources you took them from, and so on.

Covid-19 Essays and College Applications

Admissions officers in colleges and universities generally require you to tell them something about yourself that makes you unique. Therefore, in the statement of purpose, students include typically personal experiences.

Currently, there are mixed feelings about whether to include experiences related to COVID-19 in your college essays. One side of the debate argues it’s a good idea to have, for instance, an experience that proves your resilience in these pandemic-stricken times. That can potentially increase your chances of being selected.

Others argue that since everyone is somehow affected by COVID-19, it won’t make your statement stand out to include experiences everyone shares right now. There is no reliable source, as of yet, to claim whether it’s a good idea to write a wholly COVID-19 essay as your college essay.

However, if it turns out that it is, you’ll have this guide to help you!

Common App COVID-19 Essay

With the pandemic affecting everything, universities and colleges have taken a new initiative to include a new section called COVID-19 essay in Common App.

Not just Common App , but The Coalition App has also included this prompt. Both aim to allow applying students room to share their COVID-19 experience. However, this isn’t a COVID-19 academic essay but just a space to share personal experiences related to the pandemic.

Academic Essays on Covid-19 – Examples

There are snippets of students’ essays on infectious disease prevention for COVID-19 you can use to get an idea about the general tone and language of such an essay topic. These snippets have been retrieved from essays that were published nationally.

You can also go through some sample COVID-19 and global economy dissertation topics.

The Health and Human Rights Journal published an academic essay on COVID-19 that can serve as the best example for you.

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Writing an academic essay on COVID-19 can be pretty challenging, mainly since more and more data is being gathered by the minute. Putting personal problems and stress caused by the pandemic aside, an essay on COVID-19 is like any other essay, except that this topic is of a current situation.

Following a few basic steps to organize and list research gathered about the pandemic can help you craft the perfect essay. Aside from the differences mentioned above, stick to all other rules for different types of writing. Keep it relevant, reliable and free of personal bias.

Whether it’s a term project or for your college application, you can even submit your essay in international COVID-19 essay contests.

Think your piece qualifies for submission? Don’t hesitate and enter the contest! Who knows, it might even get published in a reputable journal where it can benefit thousands of readers.

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Essay on COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, daily life has been negatively affected, impacting the worldwide economy. Thousands of individuals have been sickened or died as a result of the outbreak of this disease. When you have the flu or a viral infection, the most common symptoms include fever, cold, coughing up bone fragments, and difficulty breathing, which may progress to pneumonia. It’s important to take major steps like keeping a strict cleaning routine, keeping social distance, and wearing masks, among other things. This virus’s geographic spread is accelerating (Daniel Pg 93). Governments restricted public meetings during the start of the pandemic to prevent the disease from spreading and breaking the exponential distribution curve. In order to avoid the damage caused by this extremely contagious disease, several countries quarantined their citizens. However, this scenario had drastically altered with the discovery of the vaccinations. The research aims to investigate the effect of the Covid-19 epidemic and its impact on the population’s well-being.

There is growing interest in the relationship between social determinants of health and health outcomes. Still, many health care providers and academics have been hesitant to recognize racism as a contributing factor to racial health disparities. Only a few research have examined the health effects of institutional racism, with the majority focusing on interpersonal racial and ethnic prejudice Ciotti et al., Pg 370. The latter comprises historically and culturally connected institutions that are interconnected. Prejudice is being practiced in a variety of contexts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In some ways, the outbreak has exposed pre-existing bias and inequity.

Thousands of businesses are in danger of failure. Around 2.3 billion of the world’s 3.3 billion employees are out of work. These workers are especially susceptible since they lack access to social security and adequate health care, and they’ve also given up ownership of productive assets, which makes them highly vulnerable. Many individuals lose their employment as a result of lockdowns, leaving them unable to support their families. People strapped for cash are often forced to reduce their caloric intake while also eating less nutritiously (Fraser et al, Pg 3). The epidemic has had an impact on the whole food chain, revealing vulnerabilities that were previously hidden. Border closures, trade restrictions, and confinement measures have limited farmer access to markets, while agricultural workers have not gathered crops. As a result, the local and global food supply chain has been disrupted, and people now have less access to healthy foods. As a consequence of the epidemic, many individuals have lost their employment, and millions more are now in danger. When breadwinners lose their jobs, become sick, or die, the food and nutrition of millions of people are endangered. Particularly severely hit are the world’s poorest small farmers and indigenous peoples.

Infectious illness outbreaks and epidemics have become worldwide threats due to globalization, urbanization, and environmental change. In developed countries like Europe and North America, surveillance and health systems monitor and manage the spread of infectious illnesses in real-time. Both low- and high-income countries need to improve their public health capacities (Omer et al., Pg 1767). These improvements should be financed using a mix of national and foreign donor money. In order to speed up research and reaction for new illnesses with pandemic potential, a global collaborative effort including governments and commercial companies has been proposed. When working on a vaccine-like COVID-19, cooperation is critical.

The epidemic has had an impact on the whole food chain, revealing vulnerabilities that were previously hidden. Border closures, trade restrictions, and confinement measures have limited farmer access to markets, while agricultural workers have been unable to gather crops. As a result, the local and global food supply chain has been disrupted, and people now have less access to healthy foods (Daniel et al.,Pg 95) . As a consequence of the epidemic, many individuals have lost their employment, and millions more are now in danger. When breadwinners lose their jobs, the food and nutrition of millions of people are endangered. Particularly severely hit are the world’s poorest small farmers and indigenous peoples.

While helping to feed the world’s population, millions of paid and unpaid agricultural laborers suffer from high levels of poverty, hunger, and bad health, as well as a lack of safety and labor safeguards, as well as other kinds of abuse at work. Poor people, who have no recourse to social assistance, must work longer and harder, sometimes in hazardous occupations, endangering their families in the process (Daniel Pg 96). When faced with a lack of income, people may turn to hazardous financial activities, including asset liquidation, predatory lending, or child labor, to make ends meet. Because of the dangers they encounter while traveling, working, and living abroad; migrant agricultural laborers are especially vulnerable. They also have a difficult time taking advantage of government assistance programs.

The pandemic also has a significant impact on education. Although many educational institutions across the globe have already made the switch to online learning, the extent to which technology is utilized to improve the quality of distance or online learning varies. This level is dependent on several variables, including the different parties engaged in the execution of this learning format and the incorporation of technology into educational institutions before the time of school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many years, researchers from all around the globe have worked to determine what variables contribute to effective technology integration in the classroom Ciotti et al., Pg 371. The amount of technology usage and the quality of learning when moving from a classroom to a distant or online format are presumed to be influenced by the same set of variables. Findings from previous research, which sought to determine what affects educational systems ability to integrate technology into teaching, suggest understanding how teachers, students, and technology interact positively in order to achieve positive results in the integration of teaching technology (Honey et al., 2000). Teachers’ views on teaching may affect the chances of successfully incorporating technology into the classroom and making it a part of the learning process.

In conclusion, indeed, Covid 19 pandemic have affected the well being of the people in a significant manner. The economy operation across the globe have been destabilized as most of the people have been rendered jobless while the job operation has been stopped. As most of the people have been rendered jobless the living conditions of the people have also been significantly affected. Besides, the education sector has also been affected as most of the learning institutions prefer the use of online learning which is not effective as compared to the traditional method. With the invention of the vaccines, most of the developed countries have been noted to stabilize slowly, while the developing countries have not been able to vaccinate most of its citizens. However, despite the challenge caused by the pandemic, organizations have been able to adapt the new mode of online trading to be promoted.

Ciotti, Marco, et al. “The COVID-19 pandemic.”  Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences  57.6 (2020): 365-388.

Daniel, John. “Education and the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Prospects  49.1 (2020): 91-96.

Fraser, Nicholas, et al. “Preprinting the COVID-19 pandemic.”  BioRxiv  (2021): 2020-05.

Omer, Saad B., Preeti Malani, and Carlos Del Rio. “The COVID-19 pandemic in the US: a clinical update.”  Jama  323.18 (2020): 1767-1768.

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Writing About COVID-19 in Your College Essay

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  • Like last year, essays will likely hold more weight in admission decisions than test scores.
  • Both the Common App and Coalition App provide an optional essay space to discuss the pandemic.
  • This essay is an opportunity to share your pandemic experience and the lessons learned.

The college admissions process has experienced significant changes as a result of COVID-19, creating new challenges for high school students.

Since the onset of the pandemic, admissions officers have strongly emphasized a more holistic review process. With more colleges adopting (temporary) test-optional policies , more weight is now being placed on personal statements , supplemental essays, and letters of recommendation .

Because COVID-19 has impacted their lives significantly, many high school students wonder whether they should write about the pandemic in their personal statement. The answer, however, truly depends on the individual.

Should You Write About COVID-19 in Your Personal Statement?

Due to the far-reaching consequences of COVID-19, you may be considering using your personal statement to write about the pandemic. While this approach could benefit some, admissions experts hold mixed opinions about whether students should write about this topic in their main college essay.

Your personal statement is supposed to communicate something unique and interesting about yourself . With millions of students across the country experiencing similar situations, using your main essay to write about the pandemic may make it more difficult to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

Additionally, admissions officers have likely read through thousands of essays over the past year detailing students' experiences with COVID-19. It's natural to focus on the pandemic and the impacts it's had on your life, but admissions committees are no doubt experiencing some fatigue from COVID-19-related essays.

That said, there are instances when using your personal statement to address COVID-19 could strengthen your candidacy. For example, if you did something ambitious while stuck at home, such as learning a language, don't hesitate to write about it.

What Is the Optional COVID-19 College Essay?

If you're hoping to share your experience with COVID-19, both the Common Application and Coalition Application offer an optional essay section students can use to address the topic.

Those applying through the Common App have 250 words to discuss the pandemic's impact on their lives, whereas the Coalition App gives you up to 300 words.

In addition to providing students with space to describe how COVID-19 has affected them, this prompt allows students to use the rest of their application to touch on topics beyond COVID-19. As such, we generally recommend students use this COVID-19 section, rather than their personal statement, to discuss the pandemic.

The Common App Prompt

Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. (250-word limit)

The Coalition App Prompt

Natural disasters and emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the lives of many students, both academically and personally. While entirely optional, you may share information here regarding how any of these events have affected you. (300-word limit)

When Writing a COVID-19 College Essay, DO:

  • Check Circle Remember that this is an optional essay — there's no correct way to respond to the prompt. Don't worry about whether your experience with the pandemic is more or less severe than another's. Everyone is different, and admissions officers recognize this.
  • Check Circle Consider writing about the steps you took to foster personal growth , especially if you haven't been greatly affected by COVID-19. For instance, maybe you devoted more time to reading or started a new hobby or craft.
  • Check Circle Give yourself time to plan what you want to say. Crafting an outline before you begin writing can help you organize your thoughts and make the process a lot easier.

When Writing a COVID-19 College Essay, Do NOT:

  • X Circle Spend time introducing the nature of the pandemic. Admissions officers are living through the pandemic, too, so you don't need to provide context for it.
  • X Circle Write about challenges every high school student is facing at this time. Many students can't take the SAT/ACT, and most have had at least some experience with a sudden transition to virtual learning .
  • X Circle Use the prompt as a space to vent about frustrations that may come from a place of privilege. For example, you should avoid writing about things like not being able to go on spring break or a family trip abroad — this could make you sound out of touch.

How to Write a COVID-19 Essay in 2021-22

Before answering this prompt, consider whether COVID-19 has affected you in ways that are worth sharing with admissions officers. It's OK to skip this section. The point here is honesty — avoid making something up or overstating your situation and appearing disingenuous.

Here are some tips for crafting your COVID-19 college essay, should you decide to write one.

Be Concise and Authentic

Space is limited, so make sure you immediately address the prompt and get to the crux of your essay. This could be something like not having adequate internet speed to support remote learning or worrying about a family member who contracted COVID-19. This essay is not meant to serve as a competition for whose life has been most impacted by the pandemic, so be truthful about your situation.

Discuss the Impact and Provide Details

Using clear and effective details is key. For example, if you've struggled with staying home most days, discuss how this has impacted you. If you previously spent most of your free time hanging out with friends, maybe the isolation led to a change in how you spend your time and energy. Perhaps the pandemic greatly affected your mental health .

Describe How You Dealt With or Overcame Your Circumstances

The remainder — and majority — of your COVID-19 essay should address how you overcame or dealt with the challenges brought on by the pandemic and whether these resulted in some degree of personal growth.

Maybe your struggles with isolation helped you learn the importance of meditation, allowing you to better understand others who live with anxiety or depression. Or perhaps the newfound time led you to pick up a new hobby. Admissions officers will want to see traits and identifiers that indicate your ability to succeed in college.

What If a College Doesn't Offer a COVID-19 Essay?

If a college you're applying to uses an application that doesn't include space for discussing COVID-19, deciding whether to use your personal statement to address the pandemic becomes a bit trickier.

If your experience with COVID-19 is truly unique and reveals a great deal about you as an individual, your application should naturally stand out. However, if you feel your experience may be too similar to other students', it may be better to avoid the topic.

Ultimately, if you choose to write about COVID-19 in your personal statement, it should communicate something distinctive about you. While topics around the pandemic can make for compelling pieces, the purpose of the college essay remains the same: to provide a glimpse into who you are as a person and to separate you from other applicants.

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