Poverty epidemic

Poverty is the state of being poor or the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount

Throughout the semester, all of the novels and articles that we’ve discussed relate to poverty. The article and novel that I felt correlated with poverty the most were “Hookworm, a disease of extreme poverty, is thriving in the US south. Why?” written by Ed Pilkington and Zulus by Percival Everett. Zulus and the Hookworm article both dealt with negative biological affects on people and poverty.

Zulus dealt with the life of a women, Alice Achitophel, who becomes impregnated by a rapist and has to deal with the environmental tragedies of a nuclear disaster. Alice is the last women on earth who is pregnant which is an issue for the apocalyptic time period during the novel. The only food available is cheese because everything else is contaminated. Of course, pregnant women happen to eat more than the average person because they’re eating for two persons. Her being pregnant causes issues with the distribution of food because it’s already an issue that there is barely enough food for everyone. When there’s a person who is obese and pregnant, that causes an imbalance in the fact that 1 person is getting an advantage.

Hookworm is a disease that “enters the body through the skin, usually through the soles of bare feet, and travels around the body until it attaches itself to the small intestine where it proceeds to suck the blood of its host.” This parasite conquers the amount of food that you admit in to your system which then “causes iron deficiency and anemia, weight loss, tiredness and impaired mental function.” If you’re already dealing with poverty and struggling to get food for survival that has nutritional values, a disease like this takes more of toll on you.

In comparison to Zulus where poverty is already affected by a greater cause , the impoverished areas in the United States where hookworm is popularly contaminated with, is dealing with poverty due to similar reasoning. According to the article “Causes of poverty in America”, those reasons are poor economy, lack of affordable housing, drug use, lack of education and medical expenses. The issues with both situations are that the people are lacking resources.

Here in the United States, one of the states that have been affected the most by hookworm is Alabama.The people affected by hookworm in Alabama lack resources in that poverty is a large factor. If you are poor, you can’t afford a $15,000 septic tank to filter the water coming in from the terrain under your home.  According to “Hook worm infections and Sanitation Failures Plague Rural Alabama” only “half  the households with septic have a failing system, or worse, no means of waste disposal at all besides a pipe directed at the backyard.”

This is sad because people are trying to maintain their resources and fix the issue but they all cannot afford to do so. Similarly in Zulus, Alice’s secret of being pregnant was held by people who were trying to deal with the same issues, which is to go back to their normal lives and survive normally.

“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.”

Eli Khamarov

–So is an unwanted disease.–

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