In the U.S., Muslims are over-represented in multiple fields that are considered essential during the COVID-19 crisis. In Michigan, where Shanawani lives, for example, under 3 percent of the overall population is Muslim, but Muslims account for 15 percent of the state’s doctors. In New York City, Muslims make up 9 percent of the city’s population, but 12 percent of the city’s pharmacists and 39 percent of its licensed taxi drivers.
For Muslim essential workers, the challenges of Ramadan under the COVID-19 crisis go further. They will worry daily about exposing their loved ones to the virus when they return home from work, and about keeping themselves physically and mentally strong enough to fulfill the duties of their job while foregoing food and water.
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