The Effect COVID-19 has on the Black Community

Asha Brown, Staff Writer

The Coronavirus is affecting our world in a way nothing else has ever done in these modern times. Everyone is suffering from this pandemic. However, the suffering is not equal. Here in America, the Black community is being hurt the most from the Coronavirus.


The saying “when white America catches a cold, black America gets pneumonia” has become horrifyingly relevant in the past months. According to, “The latest overall COVID-19 mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.4 times as high as the rate for Whites and 2.2 times as high as the rate for Asians and Latinos.” This means that if African Americans were to die from COVID-19 at the same rate as white Americans 13,000 Black Americans would still be alive. 13,000 extra people are dead from this virus because they are Black.


The Coronavirus is bringing our country’s problem with racial health disparities to light. One reason the Black community is getting hurt so badly from COVID-19 is because of the higher rates of underlying health conditions. African Americans are known to have higher rates of asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. These are all conditions that put you at a higher risk. Another reason is that African Americans have less access to care. It is not just because of the lack of health insurance but according to an NIH study, hospitals are more likely to shut down in predominately Black neighborhoods than in predominantly white neighborhoods.


African Americans are overrepresented as COVID-19 patients and underrepresented as doctors. While making up 13% of the US population, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, African Americans only make up 10% of nurses and 5% of doctors. In a study done by Harvard Business Review, it was found that Black healthcare workers tend to work at “facilities in urban areas where most patients were Black, Latinx, and often low income and/or uninsured.” These facilities tend to be understaffed and lack resources. Because they are working in these environments they are often overworked and more likely to experience burnout, stress, and exhaustion.


These times are hard for everyone. But these times are the hardest for African Americans. This is because of our country’s problem of systematic racism that is constantly being swept under the rug. Knowledge is power, and people knowing how disproportionate the impact of the Coronavirus is on African Americans will hopefully help bring the problem of systematic racism to light, making it closer to being solved.