Wednesday, September 23, 2020

COVID-19 Hitting Black Americans the Hardest

September 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Health

COVID-19 Hitting BlackĀ Americans the Hardest

By Cassandra Cotton, Nathan Adelson Hospice Community Outreach Manager

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Black Americans have been infected and hospitalized with COVID-19 at higher rates than other racial or ethnic groups. Black Americans make up nearly 28% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and account for more than 18% of COVID-19 deaths, although they compose only 13% of the U.S. population.

There are several reasons for the disproportionate number of cases. Black Americans have a higher rate of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure that make COVID-19 more dangerous. They also are more likely to work in frontline jobs, live in crowded housing and use public transportation, increasing their exposure to the virus.

While everyone is aware that washing hands, wearing a mask and keeping your distance are important factors, there are nuances in our community that have to be addressed.

Many Black Americans are hesitant to wear a mask in public because, in the minds of many, masks are associated with criminal behavior or lead to racial profiling. Additionally, there has been generational distrust of healthcare providers, which can cause some people to dismiss the importance of directives from public health and government officials related to COVID-19.

Nathan Adelson Hospice has been working with the community for over 20 years to help address health equality and the barriers to it, through outreach and events like our Multicultural Luncheon. During this unprecedented time, we know all of us have a role to play in the safety of our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Knowledge is the power to keep our community safe and healthy.

We hope everyone stays safe and well during this crisis.

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