COVID-19 virus brings out the inequities and discrimination that continue for Black people to this day. This virus pandemic drew more U.S. Blacks into higher economic and health hardship rates than Whites above the pre-pandemic disparities.
Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental use of the Household Pulse Survey (HPS), it can distinguish between pre-pandemic disparities of Blacks and its pandemic disparities. Statisticians, Lindsay M. Monte and Daniel J. Perez-Lopez at the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division created the experimental modeling.
The Census Bureau found that where there is lost employment of Black adult households, Blacks are more apt not to pay for housing more than whites. They cannot afford it. Blacks were less likely to maintain their health insurance than whites. Many Blacks were more likely to work in high-exposure jobs. The Census Bureau reported these facts and more.
Black unemployment rates were higher than whites before the pandemic, according to the Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). These labor market differences put Black working-age adults at a more significant disadvantage during the pandemic. The unemployment rate for Black adults remained higher throughout the pandemic.
Black adults outstripped white adults in looking at debt to pay for household expenses in January. The researchers found Black adults more likely use credit cards, loans, or borrowed money to pay for rent, gas, and food costs. These methods, during the pandemic, stood out more when someone in the household lost a job.
In Black adult households, when persons lost income, 11.1 percent Blacks were more likely than white adults reported that they often did not have enough to eat in January.
During the pandemic, anxiety became more predominant among blacks than white adults living in households where a black person lost income. Black adults have been more likely than white adults to borrow money to make ends meet projects. We may also see a more prolonged impact of the pandemic on Black households as debts mount.
On July 27, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), advised that vaccinated people should still wear masks. The purpose is to protect those not immunized because of the Delta COVID-19 variant virulence. This fact actually pertains to high transmission areas where COVID-19 and the Delta variant rapidly began reversing the downward number of persons getting COVID-19.
I would still wear masks, although Maryland is not a high transmission state. All teachers, children, and staff, the CDC advises to wear masks.
Whatever your race or ethnicity, get vaccinated and wear a mask. If you are vaccinated, still wear your masks, because you might be a carrier, although the CDC says it is unlikely. Stay away from conspiracy theories. It can bea matter of life or death.
Former Coppin State University professor, Dr. Ken Morgan is a human rights activist. He can be reached at: [email protected]