‘People of Banglade­shi, Pakistani, Indi­an, Chinese and mixed eth­ni­cit­ies are also at sig­ni­fic­antly great­er risk of dying from Cov­id-19 than white people’ — The Office for Nation­al Stat­ist­ics (ONS)

While the world is suf­fer­ing from the dev­ast­at­ing effects of the pan­dem­ic, we can­not help but notice the dis­pro­por­tion in num­bers between race and the death rate. Black and Asi­an minor­it­ies are three times more likely to die of COV­ID-19 com­pared to the rest of the pop­u­la­tion. This is also true for coun­tries with lower death rates.

Three of the Lon­don bor­oughs with the highest death rates also have the highest num­ber of eth­nic minor­it­ies, which is a sign of a deep­er rooted prob­lem. The dis­pro­por­tion in the USA is even more sig­ni­fic­ant due to the lack of uni­ver­sal health­care. So much so that it is spark­ing con­spir­acy the­or­ies that this is a ‘plandem­ic’ — a ‘planned pan­dem­ic’ to reduce the pop­u­la­tion of eth­nic minor­it­ies. Look­ing at the num­bers it is hard to argue wheth­er this is com­pletely false in terms of treat­ment, there is a massive divide. There has been an urgent call into more research into the effects of COV­ID-19 on black and minor­ity eth­nic (BAME) communities

It is too early to determ­ine wheth­er genet­ic factors are to blame, but either way the effects of racial inequal­it­ies clearly have a major role to play.

But why is this? As defined by the Lan­cet, ‘eth­ni­city is a com­plex entity com­posed of genet­ic make-up, social con­structs, cul­tur­al iden­tity, and beha­vi­our­al pat­terns’ so it can­not be down to the col­our of skin alone. Eth­nic minor­it­ies make up a vast major­ity of low-paid labour, which make up many of the key work­ers, there­fore more exposed to obtain­ing an infec­tion and con­tract­ing COV­ID-19. 70% of Pakistani men are more likely to be self-employed than the white Brit­ish major­ity, which means they would cur­rently be out of work. Minor­ity groups are more often low-income fam­il­ies may not be able to afford nutri­tious meals, spa­cious hous­ing or a high­er stand­ard of life. Cul­ture is also a factor. Many Asi­an fam­il­ies live with vari­ous gen­er­a­tions of their fam­il­ies includ­ing eld­erly par­ents or rel­at­ives which may con­trib­ute to the high infec­tion rate due to the dif­fi­culties in being able to self-isol­ate. They may also suf­fer far more greatly from under­ling health con­di­tions such as hyper­ten­sion, car­di­ovas­cu­lar dis­eases or dia­betes (for which they may have genet­ic pre­dis­pos­i­tion) and are more likely to die from Coronavir­us com­plic­a­tions. Those with oth­er health con­di­tions who can­not attend the hos­pit­al or a face-to-face doctor’s appoint­ment are also dir­ectly impacted by not receiv­ing the care that they need. If they do get to the hos­pit­al, there is evid­ence to show com­munit­ies of eth­nic minor­it­ies are often treated dif­fer­ently, there­fore racial dis­crim­in­a­tion with­in health­care should also be con­sidered as a factor con­trib­ut­ing to the high death rates.

The world will nev­er be the same as we once knew it but from all of this dark­ness we hope these tra­gic num­bers will force our gov­ern­ments to look at our socio-eco­nom­ic divides and provide a more equal dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth and oppor­tun­it­ies. In oth­er words, a fair chance of sur­viv­al for us all.

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this artform.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.