Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Oxymoron of the Disproportionate COVID-19 Black Deaths and the Need to Smile

 by Kenny Anderson

Black folks, according to recent racial health inequities data analysis of all-cause mortality rates in the U.S. between the years 2016 – 2018 there were 74,402 excess deaths on average among Blacks compared with white people.

Moreover recent data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an estimated 39% increase in the Black−White life expectancy gap. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous death toll on us, we’ve been constantly attending funerals as 2-Pac said “death around the corner.”
For Black men this deadly virus pandemic has especially taken a toll on us! While COVID-19 has killed 1 out of every 800 African Americans, a toll that overwhelms the imagination, even more stunning is the deadly efficiency with which it has targeted young Black men.
One study using data through July found that Black people ages 35 to 44 were dying at nine times the rate of white people the same age. In an analysis appearing in ProPublica using the only reliable data at the time accounting for age, race, and gender from Michigan and Georgia, Harvard researcher Tamara Rushovich found that the COVID-19 death disparity was greatest in Black men.
Indeed the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded our cemetery culture ‘death disparities’ caused by white supremacy. Not only are Black folks 'frontlined' more exposed to contracting COVID-19, we are more exposed ‘Living While Black’ consequently more targeted to contract racist police viral murders particularly Black men.
This weekend I was very grateful to see my son visiting for 2 days; he’s a frontline health worker physical therapy doctor doing home visits in California. Yes, these pandemic times requires inspiration, appreciation, and some smiles as 2-Pac remarked again:
“There's gon' be some stuff you gon' see
That's gon' make it hard to smile in the future
But through whatever you see
Through all the rain and the pain
You gotta keep your sense of humor
You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit
Remember that! Mmm, yeah, keep ya head up!”

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