Sunday, March 7, 2021

How The Pandemic Affected the African Americans and Healthcare Industry.

January 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Since the start of the pandemic, 22.9 million total cases have been reported in the US 381,000 deaths recorded. Apart from the vaccine being readily available for purchase, the change of year and the U.S. President didn’t change the risk of Covid-19. In fact, there is a warning on the coronavirus mutation which caused many countries to implement a travel ban from the UK. 

In the U.S., people from ethnic minority groups including African-Americans, are not exempted from this. However, there is increasing evidence on how the pandemic affected the African-Americans and healthcare industry.

African American and healthcare covid - black family - coronavirus 2020

Here are some factors that contribute to their increased risk:

  • Number of households

Oftentimes, people that belong to minority ethnic groups live in crowded places which can be more challenging when obeying the social distancing protocol. In addition to this, if there is a large number of people in the house and one member got infected with coronavirus, there is a higher chance that others will be affected due to the limited area for house quarantine. 

  • Low income

Most of the time, people who are privileged with cars and wealth, mock people with low-income status. Little did they know that these people don’t have a choice but to continue working hard for their everyday expenses, not to mention that these low paying jobs are sometimes the most at risk with Covid-19. 

  • Access to healthcare

In many cases, African Americans and healthcare do not combine. People from racial groups often have limited access to healthcare. Not everyone has the advantage to live in the city with readily available insurance to purchase. Apart from being underprivileged with transportation, high-quality hospitals, and regular primary care, providers often discriminate against people from minority ethnic groups resulting in distrust in the healthcare systems and the government. 

African Americans and Healthcare Workers

“How about black healthcare workers?”, you may ask. Aren’t they affected by the pandemic as well? Yes, they are. In fact, frontline workers not limited to black people – doctors, nurses, guards, and caretakers, are all at risk with Covid-19. However, with racial disparities, African Americans have to face a different battle apart from the coronavirus. 

With an unequal percentage of black doctors and nurses, health outcomes become harder for black patients. Study shows that same-race providers will improve their health status, and when the number of black patients arises, only limited doctors and nurses are available to provide for them. This can result in a higher death count compared to white people. Other than that, black healthcare workers that are much exposed to these can experience overfatigue and mental breakdown. They are not only fighting the virus but also the inequality that they are still experiencing during the pandemic. 

At this point, vaccines are now readily available to be purchased. Millions of doses are transported to every part of the world to help fight the virus. And while no vaccine could cure discrimination and inequality, may this pandemic remind us how to be humane to every person that we meet – regardless of age, race, and identity. 

Staff Writer; Ellie Carter

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