COVID-19: Black Americans to bear the brunt of this global pandemic
As coronavirus is strengthening its hold across the world, corona infections are steadily increasing. The number of people infected with it has increased to 18.54 lakhs in the world and so far it has pushed more than 1.14 lakhs people to death.
Corona is wreaking havoc in the USA. The no.of people who died here have crossed 22,115. This deadly virus is particularly devastating an already vulnerable Black Americans. It is hitting black people with sudden ferocity. President Donald Trump and the govt’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged the higher death rate among African Americans during
Tuesday’s White House briefing.
There is a folk saying in the black community that reflects a historical pattern –“When whites catch cold, black folks get pneumonia”. i.e.whenever a disease afflicts America, it hits Black Americans even harder. But the question here is, Why is it so? Why are Blacks more vulnerable? It is not that virus is racist and is killing more blacks than whites. Rather, the truth is that blacks are living in worse conditions in America, so they are more exposed to any kind of infection.”We are at the top of the totem pole when it comes to disparities”, says Bishop O.C Allen III, an activist and founder of the Vision Church of Atlanta.
Let’s take a look at some of these trends to understand social disparities prevalent in America.
In Chicago, an estimated 72% of COVID deaths have been among blacks, who form just 30%of the city’s population. In Louisiana,70% of black people died out of COVID, who consists of just 32 % of the population. In Michigan, more than half of the deaths where race data was collected were black residents, the state’s population is 14%black. Similar trends are seen in other states including Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina. (source: Associated Press Analysis)
Let’s understand point by point why are blacks being killed more in America due to this global pandemic.
Pre-existing Health Issues & Underlying Health Facilities
As we all are well aware that people who are already suffering from any kind of disease are more likely to get COVID-19 infection. Most of the people living in Black Americans community are already suffering from severe disease related to lungs and heart, diabetes etc.which makes them easier prey to such kind of infections. As these people belong to low-income groups, are not provided with proper treatment and other health facilities.
Coronavirus infections are expected to spread more rapidly in areas with high population density i.e.in congestion areas. Black Americans are living in such congested areas and thus it becomes impossible for them to maintain social distancing.
People from Black Americans community are low wage workers. They are engaged in service jobs as, grocery clerks, or public transportation employees, house helpers who work without any kind of additional benefits i.e health COVID-19 insurance, sick leave etc. During this pandemic, such people are advised to remain in isolation but it becomes almost impossible for these people to follow instructions by health officials.