Societal inequities have been highlighted in this pandemic that leaves communities that are historically disenfranchised, at a higher risk for Coronavirus Infection. Recent studies have seemed to recommend the disparities even more severely impact the Hispanic community, who are known to only speak Spanish.
Dr. Fatima Rodriguez who is a cardiologist and an assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine which is situated in California stated that this is all structural racism and structural inequities and has nothing to do with the jobs people do or the communities they belong to or live in.
Monolingual Spanish Speakers In More Danger This Pandemic
Often it has been seen how families of several generations live together and that makes it very hard to isolate if you have been tested Covid-19 positive.
Be it food or homelessness, keeping all those factors in the mind of where you live, has never been considered so significant and if your public health infrastructure is seen to be weak, you will get all the downstream outcomes of that, Dr. Fatima Rodrigez adds.
Hispanic people, overall, have continued to disproportionately have the need to be hospitalized or contain higher death rates from the Covid-19 virus as compared to white people. The latest CDC data reported that from October 9th, Hispanic people cover 27% of the Coronavirus cases in the country, even though they are only 18.7% in total, in the United States of America. For 65% of the country’s cases, race and ethnicity data is known to be available.
During the pandemic, isolation has seemed to bring loss of usual support systems that were typically seen carrying Hispanic workers in severe economic and food insecurity. The largest losses have been faced by Latino workers when it comes to employment, mainly in the service industry. Jobs that cannot be done remotely, jobs that other people have, had to soldier on and go to work even though there was a risk of exposure to the virus all around.
People have been living on the edge and many were seen living on the edge even before the pandemic, but as of now, we are talking about extreme mental health crises due to people who did not have a way to support themselves, and those who had family members relying on them. It was and is very daunting, says Dr. Carlos Jose Rodrigez. He is known to be a director of cardiovascular epidemiology at the university, Albert Einstein College of Medicine which is located in New York City. He also mentions him not being related to Famita Rodrigez.
Dr. Carlos added that as a cardiologist, he can guarantee that their risk factors are going out of hand. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart failure are all existing among them because they have not been able to take care of themselves in the right manner. It has been seen affecting Latinos and many disenfranchised Americans, in several ways.
A study was done in 2020 at the Annals of Epidemiology has examined how Coronavirus infection risks and deaths among the Hispanic population, are seen differently by the region and are connected with employment rates and deaths by heart disease and maintaining almost zero social distancing. As per that 2020 study, cases were increasing in countries that had a large Hispanic population, in total, in the Midwest and Northeast and also in countries that had more monolingual Spanish speakers. Death rates were witnessed way more in the Midwest Countries.
Carlos Jose Rodrigez stated that he hopes this is a wake-up signal for more attention and awareness of the action that must be taken quickly to address these discrepancies. He thinks there has been too much communication with regards to the fact that many of these issues shall be addressed but in reality, we tend to forget how bad things have been. If we forget, we shall indeed hit another pandemic or crisis and it will only get worse.
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