Just like in the beginning of anything, early information can be misleading. For vulnerable populations false assumptions can have lethal outcomes,even as unfortunate as it may seem. African Americans need to learn and educate themselves to this awful truth and prevent themselves from a deadly outcome!
At the start of this “pandemic” two points converged making a lot of black and brown people assume “COVID-19 is not our problem”.
Myth #1: COVID-19 is a white people disease.
Initially the Americans whom were initially diagnosed with the virus were predominantly white. The media focused on all of the affluent whites who traveled abroad, especially Asia. This news caused African Americans joking among ourselves that we somehow could be immune to COVID-19. This caused a rumor to take off that the only people that could be killed by this virus are white. The rumor got so bad that Idris Elba, one of the first “famous black victims” took to social media posting a video begging his people to believe that those of African descent could contract the deadly virus.
In an article written by Van Jones of CNN, she cited that she warned her family of the coming pandemic and was ridiculed by her highly educated cousin that “we have antibodies for that!”. She also cited that her cousin’s response reminded her o the AIDS epidemic when everyone thought that HIV/AIDS was a “gay,white” disease. That ended up being not true. The first known victims were in fact gay white men, eventually devastating the black communities and African nations. “Today, AIDS is largely associated with poverty and race”., Van cited.
Unfortunately COVID-19 will follow that same trajectory. Having the perception that the disease only infects older, more affluent white populations will soon become a fatal reality for urban communities that we as a people are not prepared for. COVID-19 is real, regardless of where it came from it is not a discriminatory virus. Studies show the virus will affect poor, black populations and younger people as well.
Van cites “younger” people due to the fact that the data points stating the virus killed mostly the older people. Statistically communities of colored people are much younger than communities of whites, another reason that coerced blacks into believing that COVID-19 posed no direct threat to them.
It is most important for younger people to know that they are at risk of contracting and spreading the virus, possibly even unknowingly. Statistically one in five people under the age of 44 are being hospitalized in New York. It looks even worse for the south.
Young African Americans are dying from at higher rates from Cancer, Diabetes and HIV that whites of the same age. according to the CDC. People that already have compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of contracting the virus with a grave outcome
Obesity also plays a significant role in contracting the virus. Obesity rates are higher in African Americans, putting them at more risk to the underlying issues such as diabetes and hypertension.
I say all of that to say this, stay educated on COVID-19. Make sure you take all precautionary measures to prevent yourself and your loved ones from contracting the virus. Social distancing if you MUST go out, wearing PPE, hand washing, glove wearing, bathe frequently.
Stay Safe and Virus Free!