The Cure of Community
Courtland Milloy writes in his 2020 article for The Washington Post, “the National Medical Association… offered a diagnosis of the coronavirus disparity earlier this month…after looking at social determinants of health – economic stability, physical environment, education, food community social content and health-care systems-… ‘these statistics are just an amplification of the ‘Slave Health Deficit’ which has been an aftermath of years of discrimination, unequal treatment and injustices in healthcare, criminal justice, and employment.’”
African Americans have had a history of being impacted by many health disparities- from asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. There are various health studies to support this claim. With this known fact, the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus would prompt African American communities to be more aware of the life-threatening effects it has on an already compromised immune system.
Failing to heed the warning of the COVID-19 coronavirus is more than just one more example of the racial disparity within the African American community. It is more than just one more example of how environmental racism impacts communities of color that produces health and food deserts.
African Americans’ failure to heed the warning of the COVID-19 coronavirus is about a lack of a trust in a health system not originally designed for them. African Americans’ failure to heed the warning of the COVID-19 coronavirus is about the waging war on racial mortality and reproduction.
Often the conversation around the control of reproduction centers around the question of gender. However, there is much to be said about how it centers around the question of race. What history and sociology has taught us is that if one is able to control population, one is able to control reproduction, both literally and culturally.
If more African Americans die from the COVID-19 coronavirus, a near-extinction of African American legacy is a far greater possibility.
With that being said, what does one do now?
There are numerous articles that speak about what policies could be put in place to further support the Black community during this unprecedented pandemic. But one does not need journalism to know that the only cure for repeated history is community. Holding each other accountable can and will be the only way to survive a pandemic so lethal as the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Though there is a lot of distrust in the health care system, the recommended precautions such as wearing a mask in public should not be distrusted. Wearing the mask is more than just about limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. It is about protecting whatever is left of the legacy of the African American community.