Health News Roundup

The dual pandemic facing Asians in America, and more in this week’s roundup

Podcast: Presenting The Dose: Asian Americans and the dual pandemic
Shanoor Seervai, The Commonwealth Fund, Tradeoffs, May 6
Hate crimes against Asians in the U.S.  more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. While racism against people of Asian descent is not a new problem, it’s been exacerbated by politicians using racist rhetoric to describe the coronavirus. Asians in America are now facing a dual pandemic: a heightened fear of racist abuse, from verbal slurs to physical assault, on top of all the anxiety of living through COVID-19.

Researchers fear long COVID may disproportionately affect people of color
Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, May 10
Long COVID — one name for the mysterious multitude of problems that persist after COVID infections have cleared — affects all populations to some degree; it also afflicts people regardless of whether they had mild or even no symptoms, or needed ICU care to survive. Researchers and health care clinics fear that the same reasons that caused certain racial and ethnic groups to experience higher COVID infection rates and illness severity may be responsible for driving disparities in the treatment of long COVID. Many vulnerable communities lack access to quality care, or face heightened burdens to convince providers that their conditions are real.

COVID fears keep many Latino kids out of classrooms
Heidi de Marco, Kaiser Health News, May 12
Latinos have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID, and many families are opting out of in-person learning for their children because of their experiences with family and friends contracting and even dying from the virus. Latinos have been more vulnerable to the coronavirus because they are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to work essential jobs that expose them to the public, they are more likely to lack health insurance, and they are more likely to live in multigenerational households, which means the virus can spread quickly and easily within families.

U.S. doctors group issues anti-racism plan for itself, field
Lindsey Tanner, AP News, May 11
The nation’s largest doctors group, the American Medical Association, recently released a comprehensive plan aimed at dismantling structural racism inside its own ranks and within the U.S. medical establishment. U.S. physicians are overwhelmingly white and AMA membership tends to reflect that. The AMA plan calls for more than diversifying its staff and adding members who are from Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and LGBTQ communities. It aims to embed anti-racist activities and education at every level of the organization and to use its clout to advocate for health equity government policies and to create and deliver anti-racist training for medical students, doctors and health systems.