For a big American fraternity, it sadly seems quite obvious to observe the racial disparities evident in the number of fatalities arising out of coronavirus-related causes. Many cities like Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, and states of Maryland and South Carolina have started to report data influenced by race and show a higher percentage of victims who are black. Why has the Coronavirus hit African Americans hard?
“We’ve known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma are disproportionately afflicting the minority populations, particularly the African Americans. Unfortunately, when you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus… they are just those very comorbidities,” he said.
Though a part of this may be attributed to perennial inequality matters in the US that do exist, other reasons are possibly more unpredictable and could have been addressed.
Coronavirus is Twice as Deadly for Black People Than Whites
United States Coronavirus Cases toll has reached over 383,000 whereas there are already more than 12,000 deaths. The elderly peoples are, like everywhere else, the most affected, but the black community is hit more severely than other sections of the population.
As per census figures, life expectancy in West Garfield Park is 16 years lower as compared to Chicago, which is mainly white neighborhood and just at a distance of about three miles. The figures till now highlight that 68% of coronavirus-related fatalities in the city relate to African Americans, who are just 30% of the population. Experts say the trend is fueled by factors such as higher rates of underlying medical conditions as well as a lack of health services.
Residents in Reverend Hatch prefecture have a low possibility to be covered by health insurance and perhaps living in congested accommodation when compared to the rest of the population. Young black men have also signaled on social media about harassment by security guards in the market and asked to leave if they cover their mouth and nose with a cloth.
Coronavirus in NYC – New York is the Epicenter of America’s Coronavirus Crisis
The State of New York, the biggest American focus of the epidemic, does not publish statistics by what the Americans call “race” and ethnicity (Black, White, Asian, Hispanic…), a component which is usually part of the statistical landscape in the United States for all areas, from economics to education and health, and appears on U.S census forms.
But other jurisdictions have chosen to publish figures that are alarming: in Illinois, blacks represent 14% of the population but 42% of deaths from the epidemic. In Chicago, 72% of the dead, while they represent less than a third of the inhabitants: disparities that “take your breath away,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the City of Chicago.
Washington, 13 of the 22 dead were black. “I am very afraid of the disproportionate impact that this virus will have on African-Americans,” the mayor of the American capital, Muriel Bowser, said on Tuesday on MSNBC. In North Carolina, 31% of the dead were black, compared to 22% of the population.
Based on early data, we are seeing that COVID-19 is impacting African Americans at a disproportionate rate. While African Americans make up 14% of the overall population in Michigan, they account for approximately 33% of COVID-19 cases and 40% of deaths caused by the disease in the state. Black people make up nearly 60% of all COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana and nearly 50% of cases and roughly 60% of deaths in Chicago – both much higher rates than their percentage of the overall population.
African Americans are living under the poverty line because of the fact that they have less access to healthcare. The chances of the people who are at higher risk for severe illness are the ones, suffering from diseases such as diabetes, asthma, heart, and lung problems. Because of greater poverty, less access to healthcare, their general health is worse than that of whites.
Coronavirus Outbreak Revives Dangerous Race Myths
There have been rumors spreading on social media since late January that people with dark skin may be immune to COVID-19, but do they really know what Immunity to COVID-19 really means? The spread of rumor comes from the efficacious recovery of an infected Cameroonian student from Coronavirus in China and the absence of coronavirus infections reported in Africa.
Further, around mid-February, many posts circulated on Facebook which incorrectly claimed that a person of 21 years had successfully recovered from the infection because of his black skin. However, the fact could not be verified that his recovery was based on race or complexion.
Unfortunately, the unverified claims were published by many English news websites and spread on social media in a few African states like Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia.
The rumor about complexion-based immunity has largely spread online in the African-American community and has featured in quite a few viral jokes and memes.
Coronavirus updates related to Afro-American:
- Deaths are concentrated to 5 neighborhoods on the city’s South Side
- Chicago has more than 50% of COVID-19 cases and nearly 70% of COVID-19 deaths involve black individuals
Coronavirus Precautions for Patients and Others Facing Higher Risks
- Follow Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation rules to protect yourself & others. At least six feet (1.5 m). In fact, stay at home as much as possible.
- Wash your hands frequently; use soap and water and rub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not touch public surfaces. Studies show that coronavirus can live on surfaces for days
- Wear a face mask or cloth face mask when you are in places where it is difficult to maintain social distance.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue and throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a disposable tissue, cough or sneeze over the elbow bend or a long sleeve.
- Try not to touch your mouth or nose, or your eyes.
Also Read – Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Public Health – FAQ’s
Coronavirus: Global Solutions to Prevent a Pandemic
That same theory is shared by Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, who on Monday referred to the prevalence of diabetes and respiratory and heart diseases in the black and Latino neighborhoods of the city where the virus has the highest incidence.
So he instructed his team to focus on those communities to contact residents over 50 and those with pre-existing diseases to give them information on prevention and resources to deal with the disease. Also, signed an order for the undocumented has access to the benefit s offered to the rest of the population during emergency COVID-19. Experts say more testing should be done in minority communities and more medical services should be provided.
Unfortunately, New figures indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting African American communities harder than other groups. Investment in research must be fast-tracked if we are to tackle the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19. We need greater insight into the transmission, progression, Symptoms of Coronavirus, and epidemiology of this respiratory illness. We need to know the risk factors for infection, the role of asymptomatic or mild infection, and the nature of ‘super-spreaders’. We must determine disease seasonality and the viability of the virus in hot, humid environments, and improve estimates of death rates by age.