Beyond morality: The social and health impacts of COVID-19 among older (55+) BIPOC and LGBT respondents in a Canada-wide survey




Beringer, Robert
de Vries, Brian
Gill, Paneet
Gutman, Gloria

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This study focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the marginalized populations—specifically Black and Indigenous people as well as People of Color (BIPOC) compared to White older adults and LGBT individuals compared to heterosexual older adults. Data were derived from our national online survey of Canadians aged 55+, conducted from 10 August to 10 October 2020. The survey explored the influence of COVID-19 on lifestyle changes, well-being, and planning for the future. Our sample comprised 4292 respondents. We compared sets of dichotomous variables with White vs. BIPOC, LGBT vs. heterosexual, and LGBT White vs. LGBT BIPOC respondents. Significantly more BIPOC than White individuals reported changes in accessing food (44.3% vs. 33.2%) and in family income (53.9% vs. 38.9%) and fewer reported feeling accepted and happy, and more felt isolated and judged. Significantly more LGBT than heterosexual respondents reported changes in routines and in accessing social support, medical and mental health care and more feeling depressed, lonely, anxious, and sad. More LGBT–BIPOC than LGBT–White respondents reported changes in access to food (66.7 vs. 30.6, p < 0.001); in family income (66.7 vs. 41.5, p < 0.005); and in access to mental health care (38.5 vs. 24.0, p < 0.05). The only difference in emotional response to COVID-19 was that more BIPOC–LGBT than White–LGBT respondents reported feeling judged (25.9 vs. 14.5, p < 0.05). These findings reflect a complex mix of the effects of marginalization upon BIPOC and LGBT older adults, revealing both hardship and hardiness and warranting further research.



health equity, intersectionality, marginalized populations, minority older adult Canadians


Beringer, R., de Vries, B., Gill, P., & Gutman, G. (2023). Beyond mortality: The Social and health impacts of COVID-19 among older (55+) BIPOC and LGBT respondents in a Canada-wide survey. Healthcare, 11(14), 2044.