Stats Show Minorities More Impacted by COVID-19

Early numbers showed disparity along racial lines regarding COVID-19 contagion, but new federal data reported by the New York Times,  unearths a clearer picture, "Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus in a widespread manner that spans the country, throughout hundreds of counties in urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups." According to this data, Black and Latino people are three times as likely to contract the virus and two times as likely to die from it. The map included in the article shows that this pattern plays out across the United States, from small towns to large metro areas. In Western states, the colors change; Native Americans in these places are more likely to contract and die from the virus in places like Arizona and Wyoming. These racial health disparities are related to racial economic disparities; Black and Latino people are more likely to be front-line workers who cannot stay home, are more likey to use public transportation, and are more likely to live in crowded, multi-generational households. For Native populations, lack of running water and healthcare on tribal lands exacerbates the virus. 

The American Public Media Research Lab is also tracking coronavirus deaths by race using data from health departments in a project called The Color of Coronavirus. One finding that is particularly chilling from their work is that deaths from coronavirus among minorities is happening to younger populations than among the White population.  Despite youth being a protective factor against the virus, the exposure that Latinos, Blacks, and Native Americans go through means that younger people in these races are dying. While this is a tragedy in itself, it also speaks to a potential workforce issue. For example, young Latinos make up much of the construction workforce. When the economy does begin to recover, it will be lacking these workers skills and manpower. 

Bloomberg reports on the stark economic differences in how populations of different races in San Francisco are experiencing the coronavirus. While tech workers are able to stay at home, and have access to perks through their job, the service sector of the city - populated primarily with Black and Latinos - is suffering. Since January, earnings among low-income workers in San Francisco County have fallen 52.1 percent - among the highest drop in California. The symbiotic relationship between tech workers and service workers does not hold up when the demand for services dries up. 

With the added $600 bonus of unemployment ending, and cities ending eviction moratoriums, minority populations will continue to be impacted exponentially more than their White fellow citizens. 

 

 

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