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Race & Covid-19: The Relation

Covid infections differ by race, did you know that? People of color are more at risk of COVID than others. Research is showing the steady increase of racial minorities being affected by COVID much more compared to others. Of course, this is obvious because of the daily challenges they face and how they are forced to be exposed to COVID.

One would think it isn’t that drastic of a difference, but it is. Non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Native people had the hospitalization that was about 5.3 times more than those who identify as non-Hispanic white people. While, non-Hisplanic balck people and Hispanic or Latino people were about 4.7 times the hospitalization rate of the non-Hispanic white people. According to the statistics, for every 1 white person in the hospital, around 5 non-HispanicAlaskan Natives/ non-Hispanic Blacks/ Latinos were also hospitalized. Now, that shows the difference.

The question is, why is this happening? Well, there is no genetic or biological factor that leads them to be more likely to get COVID than others. But, minorities are more likely to have other health conditions which affect their experience with COVID. For example, if you do have a disease which affects the lungs and have COVID, you are more likely to have a worse experience because you have a higher chance of being hospitalized due to the other medical condition which may affect COVID in your body.

Not to mention, this isn't the only reason for why minorities have a more likely chance of contracting COVID than others. Where you live and those who you live with have a huge effect on your immunity and your exposure to COVID. Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in multi-generational homes, crowded spaces and heavily populated areas. In these situations, you can’t necessarily protect yourself or social distance from COVID.

Lastly, the place where you work or your working conditions can risk your exposure to COVID. In the world today, many people have jobs that can’t be done at-home and have to require a form of interaction with other human beings. 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. Black or African Americans also account for 30% of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.” As well, many people of color depend on the buses, trains and other forms of public transportation to reach their work. This can increase their exposure to COVID.

In all, higher hospitalizations rates among minorities don’t always have to do with science, but rather have to do with society.

By Simran Cheema

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