While the wealthy may have glitter and gates for beauty, comfort, and defense, the dispossessed of America may have little more than cotton and nylon and a bridge overhead — and that may be the lucky. The two might seem worlds apart, but a quick look at the coverage suggests the punishments meted by needle, flea, and sneeze may ignore the more visible boundaries and move on to share beyond the circles of impoverishment Typhoid Fever, Typhus, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis.

America’s homeless represent a small percentage of the nation’s population, but the number is huge — about 553,000 souls, a number that has represented homeless veterans at the 11 percent mark — and the threat to public health and safety has come to demand attention and hand wringing. One hopes 2020 will bring innovation in urban, suburban, and rural fast housing, e.g., “Tiny Homes”, or other sheltering plus an effort to clarify who is in the mix and appropriately channel criminals and mentally ill out of the ranks of the generally desperate.

Related Online

Chappell, Bill. “U.S. Income Inequality Worsens, Widening to a New Gap.” NPR, September 26, 2019.

DeVore, Chuck. “Typhoid Fever, Typhus & Tuberculosis: Are L.A.’s Medieval Diseases Coming to your City?” Forbes, June 4, 2019.

Gorman, Anna and Kaiser Health News. “Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless.” The Atlantic, March 8, 2019.

Invisible PEOPLE. “Homelessness First-Hand: Our Top 10 Lived Experience Posts of 2019”.

Lippman, Daniel. “Trump cuts loose with unpredictable characters at Mar-a-Lago.” Politico, January 1, 2020

Poe, Michelle and Drew Pinsky. “Homelessness + Sanitation Problems = Disease.” Dr. Drew, September 12, 2018.

Rogers, Adam. “California’s Hepatitis A Outbreak Is the Future Poking Us in the Face.” Wired. November 28, 2017.

Romero, Dennis and Andrew Blankstein. “‘Typhus zone’: Rats and trash infest Los Angeles’ skid row, fueling disease.” NBC News, October 14, 2018.

Wikipedia. “Income inequality in the United States”.