COVID-19 has taken an outsize toll on Black and Hispanic Americans. And those disparities extend to the medical workers who have intubated them, cleaned their bedsheets and held their hands in their final days. One recent study found health care workers of color were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to test positive for the virus. They were more likely to treat patients diagnosed with COVID, more likely to work in nursing homes and more likely to cite an inadequate supply of personal protective equipment.
Black doctor dies of COVID-19 after complaining of racist treatment
John Eligon, The New York Times, December 23
Dr. Susan Moore, a patient at a hospital in suburban Indianapolis, said the white doctor at the hospital where she was being treated for COVID-19 had downplayed her complaints of pain. This dismissive treatment persisted and even her training as a medical doctor was not enough to get her the treatment and respect she said she deserved. After being discharged, Dr. Moore died from complications related to COVID-19. Dr. Moore’s case has generated outrage and renewed calls to grapple with biased medical treatment of Black patients. Research suggests that Black patients often receive treatment inferior to their white counterparts, particularly when it comes to relieving pain.
Related: Opinion: Susan Moore’s death underscores the racism embedded in the US health care system, Aletha Maybank, Camara Phyllis Jones, Uché Blackstock, Joia Crear Perry, The Washington Post, December 26
Black women find healing (but sometimes racism, too) in the outdoors
Chandra Thomas Whitfield, Kaiser Health News, January 6
A Colorado woman formed an adventure group to encourage other Black women to enjoy the outdoors, and now it has chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Yet many Black adventure seekers say they often face racism when partaking in healthy outdoor activities. The most recent National Park Service survey found that 6% of visitors are Black, compared with 77% white. Research shows that Black women experience higher rates of chronic preventable health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and that racial discrimination also may increase stress, leading to health problems and underscoring the need for stress-reducing physical activities. Efforts to draw more Black people, especially women, outdoors, must include addressing barriers, like cost and transportation.