Minorities Hit Hard (Again)

Covid-19 data shows that black & brown people are dying disproportionately to their population size. Black & Brown people are over represented in death of yet another pandemic. Who’s really shocked about that? The real shock is the people pretending to be shocked. We are told that these minorities are dying at a higher rate due to their underlying medical conditions like diabetes and heart conditions. If true, medical conditions tell just part of the story. Clearly, social-economic factors play an important role. These same minorities are less likely to have insurance, access to adequate health services, live in densely populated areas, and lack in trust of government.  Another likely factor is minorities represent a disproportionate number of the low wage jobs that require them to be on the front-lines. Jobs like retail clerks, janitors, restaurant staff, residential/nursing home staff, and hospital aides.  

To be fair, Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate as no one group is immune. However, what Covid-19 is doing to minorities groups is the same that happened with the pandemic H1N1. Certainly, Covid-19 and H1N1 are not the same but the language used to explain the disproportional effects on minorities are similar. Below is the exact language directly from NIH (National institute of Health) & CDC (Center for Disease Control) websites regarding H1N1 from 2008-09.

NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3020202/

  • “Conclusions. We found significant race/ethnicity-related disparities in potential risk from H1N1 flu.”
  • “On the basis of existing disparities and unequal access to health care, we predicted that racial/ethnic minority populations would bear a disproportionate burden of H1N1 influenza.”
  • “We are deeply concerned that the additive effects of higher exposure, susceptibility to severe disease, and less ability to access health care place racial/ethnic minority populations at greater risk from H1N1 infection and its complications.”

This is from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_06-508.pdf

  • “When comparing hospitalization rates across racial/ethnic groups during the spring-summer versus the fall-winter, it’s clear that minority groups have consistently had higher rates of serious 2009 H1N1 disease, including hospitalizations, than non-minority groups. In fact, hospitalization rates among minority groups have consistently been more than double those of White, non Hispanics. In the spring, Black, non-Hispanics were the most hospitalized race while White, non-Hispanics were the least hospitalized race. In the fall-winter wave of 2009 H1N1 activity, American Indians/ Alaska Natives emerged as a seriously impacted group, but other minority groups, including Hispanics, and Black, non-Hispanics had higher hospitalization rates in both the spring-summer and the fall-winter than White, non-Hispanics.

Amazing!! Simply amazing as nothing was done or prepared for regarding minorities. Government sounded the alarm to minorities but well after the fire starter.

Doesn’t that sound like the exact language we are hearing now regarding the disproportional death rate of minorities regarding Covid-19? Media and medical experts are still saying; lack of access to health care and preexisting conditions.

Sidebar:

  1. Given what was learned about minorities from the H1N1 pandemic, should not government officials and health care facilities have anticipated similar results with Covid-19?
  2. Federal, state, & local governments are partially responsible as they have historically turned a blind eye to the plight of these communities of color.
  3. These governments not only have ignored the minority communities, their laws have helped fostered the racial divide.

We all know that there are systemic problems with low income, poor, & homeless individuals but access to adequate health care affects us all. We can clearly see from this Covid-19 virus, social contact is a key culprit. Therefore, rich or poor, insured or uninsured, black or white, good health or bad health, city or suburbs we are all dependent on other’s good health.

Now Trutalk:

  • Your good health is directly related to poor, minorities, & homeless good health. They can no longer be separated.
  • The biggest irony – a lot of low income wage earners (minorities) jobs are listed as essential – retail clerks, retail stockers, hospitals aides, restaurant staff, nursing/residential home staff, janitors, landscapers, transportation providers, & transportation users are on the front-lines with little to no insurances.
  • The uninsured cannot even get tested easily; even if test is free, care will not be; so, likely they won’t go. If positive, they go around others. Unwise.
  • The people that can ill-afford to get sick are on the front-lines. And until recent, most stores didn’t provide masks for them. They have to deal with all of us with little protection.  
  • Policymakers, this will happen again someday; so, make sure the uninsured & under-insured are insured NOW.
  • How can the one of riches country in the world not have adequate health care for ALL?
  • Since we now know minorities are disproportionately killed by the virus, should not they make up more of the people tested? But of course, they are not.

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/all-but-three-people-who-died-from-covid-19-in-st-louis-were-black-2020-4https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/09/why-coronavirus-killing-more-black-americans-because-they-poor-column/2973649001/


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