COVID-19 and it’s effect on minorities

COVID tracker by race, Júlia Ledur / COVID Tracking Project,

The Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) has had a huge effect on everyone since it arrived in the United States, but as the virus began to spread rapidly it seems to have a bigger effect on the minority community.

In April when the virus first appeared in the U.S, it took the lives of 14 hundred thousand black Americans, 3.8 hundred thousand Hispanic Americans, and 4.7 hundred thousand white Americans. Four months later 88.4 hundred thousand black Americans, 54.4 Latino Americans, and 40.4 hundred thousand white Americans lost their lives due to the coronavirus.

The number of deaths over time from COVID-19 communicates that minorities are more affected by the Pandemic, and it leaves the question as to why?

When the virus first started there was confusion about how it could be spread, and who could get infected. For a while, the idea was going around that African Americans could not be infected. This idea was being spread via social media, and through word of mouth in the black community. This could have played a big part in why African Americans were the most affected at the beginning of COVID-19. Some individuals were possibly walking around with the false idea that they were immune to the virus, putting them at a higher risk.

When black celebrities like Idris Elba and members of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team got infected it shocked the black community. Elba even warned black Americans via a live stream that they could be infected, and that they should ignore myths that imply that they could not. This possibly opened the eyes of some African Americans and made them realize how serious the coronavirus is.

While some were pledging the severity of COVID others chose to belittle the pandemic. Some states where encouraging their citizen to wear a mask and stay six feet apart. However American citizens were constantly seeing President Donald Trump without a mask. This may have sent the idea that it was not necessary to wear one being that the leader of the county chooses to interact with others without a mask. It recently came out that the president knowing downplayed the pandemic knowing how serious it was. This could have played a big factor in the number of people who got infected. If people were being told by the president how serious the virus was, they probably would have been more cautious.

We know today that people are more susceptible to the virus if they are not in good health, and it is known that the members of the black community do not have the best health records. In the black community, there is a high rate of obesity and hypertension. For black Americans who suffer from either one or both of these health issues, they will be more vulnerable to death by the coronavirus.

When it comes to battling the virus health insurance plays a big role. Not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket for a doctor visit, so having health insurance is a big help when it is time to see a doctor. However, black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts. This is problematic because if they are infected with the virus and need treatment which requires a hospital stay, they may not be able to afford the cost.

For Hispanics, the problem runs deeper. Although many Hispanics are living in the U.S a large number of them do not speak English or cannot speak English well. This becomes a problem because not many physicians are bilingual or have people around that can translate. With a language barrier getting help can be difficult and will take more time than usual, this could put the patient at risk.

The minority communities have faced a lot of difficulties when it comes to COVID, and we should be looking at our government and at ourselves to fix there are issues.

The American government needs to be completely transparent with its citizen, especially in a life or death situation like the coronavirus pandemic. African Americans need to take better care of their bodies by eating healthy and exercising because in times like these we are at a disadvantage. We also need to listen to credible sources and research ideas before blindly following them. States should require that doctor attempt to learn another language or have multiple staff member that are bilingual to translates when necessary. Lastly, when it comes to insurance the government needs to work on providing avoidable insurance for everyone. We as people both Hispanic and black should go out of our ways to obtain health insurance because we never know when we will need it.