COVID-19 and Racial Inequality

“The Black Wealth Gap” by The Week Staff focuses on the well-known issue of the wealth gap between black Americans and white Americans. Not only does the article delve into commonly discussed problems, but it also goes a step further by describing the innate racial tensions that underlie these issues.  “The pandemic is falling on those least able to bear its burdens,” said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. This quote struck me because it brought to light an aspect of society that isn’t often noted in the pandemic (and often gets ignored in plenty of worldwide struggles): race and privilege. 

So, I looked into this topic some more:

The article stated that many black Americans are hit harder by COVID-19 because they were already in a poorer scenario. Their financial background leaves them with a lower income and with less stable jobs, and therefore poorer health care. Furthermore, according to this article by Business Insider, some of the most high-risk jobs to have during a pandemic are lower-paying jobs that underprivileged people tend to occupy, such as hairdressers, restaurant workers, and drivers. This leaves black people in vulnerable positions with worse health care and reduced opportunity to social distance. This disparity shows up in CDC reports, saying that black people are 1.4 times more likely to contract covid than those who are white, 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 2.8 times more likely to die. 

So, how can we young people help in this unfortunate scenario? What change can one person make? 

By knowing how much more people are affected unfairly by COVID, a person will take more responsibility to hold up their end during the pandemic. Right now, the best we can do to stay educated and continue to hold ourselves and others accountable for keeping ourselves and others safe. Other than wearing your mask, you can volunteer at your local hospital, donate to your local food bank, and above all, stay up to date and informed by modern events.

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