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blacks during covid aThe effect of the coronavirus on Blacks and other minorities

By Ardine Isma

CSMS Magazine

At a time when the cry for racial justice for black Americans has never been so loud, systemic racism persists—where one would least expects it. According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), when it comes to treating Covid-19 patients, African Americans and Latinos do not get the same level of medical care as their white counterpart. African Americans are hospitalized at a higher rate than any other minority group in the United States.

The reason for this hospital spike is because of the underlying health issues that usually put them more at risk to suffer the worse afflictions of the coronavirus. The death rate from the virus is higher among African Americans who are between the ages of fifty-five to seventy than any other ethnic group in America. According to a study from the Brookings institute, death rates are higher for Blacks aged 65-74 than for whites aged 75-84. The reason for the increase in the infection rate in Black and Latino communities is because of two major factors: certain work occupations allowing them to be outside of the home and the decrease of social distancing.

An additional devastating factor for Blacks and other minorities during the pandemic is inconsistent access to adequate health care. African Americans and Latinos suffer the most when it comes being uninsured and underinsured. As it states from a research study from the John Hopkins medical journal, visits to primary care physicians, medications, and medical equipment to manage chronic disease is crucial to lowering the risk of death from the virus. For example, a Hispanic patient with type 2 diabetes or asthma due to unbalanced treatment is more at risk to a severe reaction from the coronavirus infection.  Furthermore, the unemployment rate has risen above average for African Americans and Latinos.

In low-income areas in the southeastern part of the United States, the jobless rate for minorities is at twenty percent due to the pandemic. According to a national public radio news segment regarding the economics of the pandemic, African Americans living in disenfranchised areas such as Selma, Alabama, are not provided the businesses or industries that would allow them to make a steady income working from home. Moreover, certain Amazon warehouses, where majority of workers are African Americans, are still not provided the protected gear needed to protect them from the spread of the virus inside warehouse.

Note: Ardine Isma is a graduate student at UFC. She is also a contributor to CSMS Magazine.

To learn more about these disturbing disparities, you can read these articles below:

Solman, P. (2020, July 15). The economics behind racial coronavirus disparities. Retrieved July 18, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-economics-behind-racial-coronavirus-disparities

Ford, T., Reber, S., & Reeves, R. (2020, June 17). Race gaps in COVID-19 deaths are even bigger than they appear. Retrieved July 18, 2020, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/16/race-gaps-in-covid-19-deaths-are-even-bigger-than-they-appear/

Coronavirus in African Americans and Other People of Color. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid19-racial-disparities

Coronavirus in African Americans and Other People of Color. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid19-racial-disparities

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