Effects on Minorities During the Covid Pandemic

Effects on Minorities During the Covid Pandemic

Sidney Marenkovic, Senior Staff Writer

While Covid-19 continues to surge in the United States many people are asking the same question: who is most affected by this virus? As a country, we have noticed a trend that is quite difficult to comprehend: why is it that certain ethnic and racial groups are having significantly worse outcomes in the Coronavirus pandemic? The answer lies not only in the nature of the disease itself, but in the structure of our flawed healthcare system. 

The United States has displayed social inequalities within its healthcare system long before the rise of COVID-19. Senior Taylor Perline states, “I have personally not experienced inequality in the U.S. healthcare system, but when you compare other countries’ healthcare systems to that of the U.S, you can see obvious differences. We seem to be lacking considerably.” We have seen time and time again that one’s health crucially relies on their race, ethnicity, and other social factors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) factors that put minorities at increased risk for proper care are discrimination, healthcare access, occupation, education and housing.

 You may be wondering, what does housing have to do with Covid-19?  Housing does in fact play a major role in who contracts the virus. Minorities often live in homes containing many family members including grandparents, great grandparents, teenagers, and small children. With so much combustion in one household, the virus can be compared to a wildfire. The Mayo clinic also states “Many people of color have jobs that are considered essential or can’t be done remotely and involve interaction with the public. In the U.S., according to the CDC nearly 25% of employed Hispanic and Black or African Americans work in the service industry, compared with 16% of non-Hispanic white workers.” 

It’s no surprise that minorities struggle to get access to good healthcare. Senior Isabella Sandberg notes, “A huge factor for minorities not having healthcare is simply that they are unable to afford it if they are impoverished. Healthcare is very expensive especially if someone does not have medical insurance.” This problem stems from people’s inability to get health insurance. Health insurance is primarily gifted to people with high paying jobs or a spouse’s job. With minorities working in lower class areas with low paying jobs, health insurance plans are usually not offered to employees. The lack of health insurance in minority groups ultimately leads to people not going to get help in times of need. Without health insurance, people are unable to pay for hospital visits and treatments. 

Although we do not want to assume that biological factors are the main cause of health drawbacks in minority groups, we do have to point out some scientific facts that we are sure of. We do know that people of color can have more underlying health problems than the average Caucasian adult. Some of these underlying conditions include diabetes, heart, and lung problems. A research project conducted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine regarding the development of type 2 diabetes showed that there was a higher chance of African Americans developing type 2 diabetes than Caucasian adults. Researchers found multiple biological factors that may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes in African American adults. “These factors included a combination of body mass index, waist measurement, fasting glucose levels, lipids, blood pressure, and lung function. Differences between blacks and whites in neighborhood, psychosocial, socioeconomic, and behavioral factors were also linked with diabetes, although to a lesser degree,” stated Northwestern University. 

Overall, this situation can be assessed with two questions:. Who is most affected by Covid-19, and what factors are contributing to this? From there, the country must try to alleviate these problems so that people of all races can receive equal care.