The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Black People
It goes without saying that the pandemic caused by the spread of the coronavirus, its peculiarities, ways of prevention, and outcomes currently remain highly debatable, especially amid appearing statements related to new oncoming viruses. In the present day, COVID-19 may be regarded as a main international health problem. Initially identified in China in 2019, this severe acute respiratory syndrome has rapidly affected almost 200 countries across the globe, infecting people regardless of their gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and living conditions, as stated in the article by Adekunle Sanyaolu and others (Sanyaolu et al., 2020). We all know that people in the United States have been strongly affected by the virus as well. However, personally, I have never realized that there may be any peculiar features of mortality and morbidity rates as I know several people from different backgrounds who had COVID-19, just like many others. At the same time, according to multiple reliable official pieces of research, Black people “are being admitted to hospital and dying in disproportionate numbers from the covid-19 pandemic” in comparison with the White population, says Owen Dyer (Dyer, 2020, p. 1). On the basis of this information, I decided to investigate the genuine reasons for this tendency and am ready to share my findings.
First of all, it is necessary to mention that disproportionate rates of Blacks affected by the coronavirus and comorbid diseases are based on disparities and racial issues that still exist in many spheres of American society. For instance, the article by Keon L. Gilbert and others states that general inequities in the United States public health system include a lack of health insurance and limited access to essential health care services for a considerable number of Black citizens caused by their low income and unemployment (Gilbert et al., 2016). Moreover, Owen Dyer mentions that, throughout history, the United States health system “has been shown repeatedly to offer inferior care even to Black people with the same conditions and insurance as White patients” (Dyer, 2020, p. 1). In addition, Black specialists who are able to provide culturally competent health care to the Black community are highly underrepresented in multiple medical settings across the country, as stated in the article by Keon L. Gilbert and others (Gilbert et al., 2016). As a result, many Blacks who do not have an opportunity to receive medical assistance when necessary have multiple diseases that contribute to the lamentable outcomes of COVID-19, including diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
The second reason for disproportionate rates of Black people’s morbidity and mortality from the coronavirus is connected with equalities in education and employment. After more than one year of living with the coronavirus, we all know that one of the most important preventative measures is social distance and the avoidance of contacts, especially with unknown people. That is why people, predominantly Whites, prefer to work remotely from their homes – however, not all are provided with this opportunity, especially Blacks, who hold “a disproportionate share of retail, municipal, first responder and other jobs that interact directly with the public and have been deemed essential throughout the pandemic”, says the article by Noah Higgins-Dunn and others (Higgins-Dunn et al., 2020). That is why they are constantly at a higher risk of being infected.
All in all, this pandemic has revealed deep racial disparities that exist regardless of particular attention to this issue and require immediate actions at all levels. In other words, not only the government but ordinary people may provide help to the Black community that suffers from COVID-19. For example, it is always possible to bring food to Black neighbors who cannot leave their homes due to the disease or call Black friends and express your support. In addition, from a personal perspective, Black citizens, especially those who are involved in work with people, deserve to receive a vaccine on a first-priority basis.
Dyer, O. (2020). Covid-19: Black people and other minorities are hardest hit in US. BMJ, 369(1483), 1-2.
Gilbert, K. L., Ray, R., Siddiqi, A., Shetty, S., Baker, E. A., Elder, K., & Griffith. D. M. (2016). Visible and invisible trends in Black men’s health: Pitfalls and promises for addressing racial, ethnic, and gender inequities in health. Annual Review of Public Health, 37, 295–311. Web.
Higgins-Dunn, N., Feuer, W., Lovelace Jr., B., & Kim, J. (2020). Coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd protests highlight health disparities for Black people. CNBC. Web.
Sanyaolu, A., Okorie, C., Marinkovic, A., Patidar, R., Younis, K., Desai, P., Hosein, Z., Padda, I., Mangat, J., & Altaf, M. (2020). Comorbidity and its impact on patients with COVID-19. SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine, 25, 1-8. Web.