Tags: Coronavirus | cdc | race | ethnicity

Coronavirus Hits Young People of Color Harder

people wearing masks and jackets stand in line at the brooklyn hospital center
People who believe they have COVID-19, and who meet the criteria, wait in line to be pre-screened for the coronavirus outside of the Brooklyn Hospital Center on March 20, 2020. (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 June 2020 10:59 AM

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 51% of those hospitalized due to the coronavirus among the Hispanic and Latino population are between the ages of 18 and 49. The CDC says that, in comparison, 13% of white Americans hospitalized from the disease are in that age category. For Black people, 23% of those hospitalized are in that age group. The data shows a clear disparity between race and ethnic groups.

According to Axios, the current surge of the coronavirus among younger people appears to be related to race and ethnicity. The CDC data shows that people of color are much more likely to be hospitalized than white Americans, even when age is accounted for. Death rates also reflect racial disparities. Black people aged 35-44 are 10 times more likely than white people to die from the virus, and the death rate for those of Hispanic and Latino origin in that age group is 8 times higher than it is for whites.

According to AARP, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minority populations are being disproportionately affected by the disease because of underlying medical conditions as well as social and economic factors.

“The data is clear and has been clear for decades: African Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups live sicker and die younger,” said Stephen Thomas, a professor of health policy and management and the director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. “We cannot close our eyes or put up blinders to the disproportionate impact of this disease on racial and ethnic minority communities.”

Leading health experts say that chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are more prevalent in minority populations. These are factors that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 complications.

Thomas points out that in minority communities the “credible messengers” who communicate information tend to be peers instead of people with Ph.D.s or M.D.s after their names. He says that minorities often gather their information at the barber shop or through their churches. During lockdown, these channels of communication were also shut down, leaving a big gap in these communities.

“Who’s making sure that they have the information, the evidence-based information, to help dispel myths, to shut down conspiracy theories and to ensure that African Americans recognize, ‘Hey, this is happening to us’?” he asked, according to AARP.

Another factor in the disparity is simple economics. Statistics show that fewer black and Hispanic workers are able to work from home, so they are the ones out in the warehouse, emptying food trucks and delivering food, said Thomas.

According to Axios, statistics show that it is misleading for younger people — especially those in minority populations — to think they have nothing to fear from the coronavirus. That could be a deadly mistake.

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Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 51% of those hospitalized due to the coronavirus among the Hispanic and Latino population are between the ages of 18 and 49. The CDC says that, in comparison, 13% of white Americans hospitalized from the...
cdc, race, ethnicity
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 10:59 AM
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