“Racist Neighbors” vs. Quarantine Fatigue— a response to #GamerGirl

Work From House Working From Apartment/Flat/Studio/Townhome. The inequity is… audible.

The inequities of working from house vs. apartment, and cumulative factors such as childcare, mental health, race/sex/SES, etc have been discussed increasingly since March.

A somewhat overlooked factor has been the degree to which neighbors who are now home all day may adversely impact the productivity and quality of work. Complaints against neighbors have increased significantly during the pandemic.

For instance, Brick Underground reported data from RentHop which revealed that renters’ noise complaints against their neighbors had increased 23.2% since the same time period last year.

See RentHop’s full report here. One key takeaway from the graph below is that noise complaints have increased during daytime hours… which is good in the sense that it means people were at home.

Thus, even though the place I currently live has become increasingly antagonistic since March (I even asked the landlord via a text conversation if it’s possible some of my neighbors are White Neocists), that’s been the experience for millions of people this year who aren’t wealthy enough to work from house. Doesn’t mean the disturbances/annoyances are due to racism or prejudice of any kind.

Everyone is stressed out… though introverts are doing better with social distancing than others (which surprises no one).

Personality as a Protected Class → If there are Genetic Rights groups in the future, introverts may organize against ordinances that place them in quarantine due to the Halloween COVID spike, given that introverts are significantly less likely to attend parties (regardless of if it’s Halloween or Coachella). The term ‘organize’ should be interpreted loosely in this context given that I’m describing introverts.

In terms of protected class arguments, women could argue that their careers are being held back due to males not wearing masks.
Ultimately, group-specific thinking is an insufficient salve for COVID. We are in a country-wide Marshmallow Test & we will only succeed if we all resist eating the marshmallow for enough months to defeat the marshmallow virus.

I wonder if a reduction in noise complaints at other times of the year would be correlated with an increase in COVID cases. Basically, did people start breaking quarantine to get away from discourteous neighbors, and then return & unknowingly infect their neighbors when having shouting matches about the noise…
Could be some interesting individualism — collectivism insights.

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Intersectional Inequity

Low SES students may be feeling disproportionate stress (in a time when everyone is more stressed than usual) if they are living in an environment with numerous distractions, including possible hostility, that isn’t conducive to focusing on their assignments, analyzing data, writing lab reports, studying for exams, & applying to graduate school.

For instance, Black students, those who live on campus in residence halls have significantly higher GPAs than those living at home (Turley & Wodtke, 2010). Among 1st-Generation & underrepresented students, there is a “strong positive association between distance from home and students’ odds of completing a bachelor’s degree” (Garza & Fullerton, 2018).

For underrepresented students, “increased distances between home and college may help students minimize obstacles that hinder their ability to achieve” (Garza & Fullerton, 2018).

In short, working from [not campus] may affect some populations in uniquely adverse ways relative to others.

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.