Two Black girls on a garden bridge.

COVID-19 is Killing African Americans

Out of every crisis comes change. How well we change can change the world. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

A problem this big cannot be overlooked.

While national information is not perfect, The Ohio Experience has learned that 70% of the COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana were African-Americans although they make up 33% of the population. In New York, African-Americans are twice as likely as White people to die because of the Coronavirus. And in our own Ohio, a recent report placed African-American deaths at 20% when African-Americans comprise 12% of the population.

Nationwide, predominantly African-American counties are seeing an infected rate three times higher and a death rate six times greater than predominantly White counties.

In general, African-Americans are less healthy than Caucasians, especially when you look at the high incidence of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Housing areas have limited access to healthy food, clean air and green space.

What COVID-19 tells me is that we need to focus more on our African-American communities. When any virus hits our state, we need immediate public health interventions. Interventions work.

Should we not test those most unhealthy first and often? In regions of the United States where we see an uptick in cases and deaths among African-Americans, our public health officials need to be there to test, treat and open doors. It’s time to take a swing at the racial inequality that is always with us. It is staring us in the face.

All of us are equal in God’s eyes. We are in this together is more than today’s slogan. It is a song we need to sing side by side no matter what race we are.

COVID-19 has sent us a real message about social disparity under a real umbrella of shame. How can a great nation such as ours produce such failing marks in the subjects of health, social science and statistics?

COVID-19 asks, “Isn’t it time for a change?”

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