By Farouk Martins Aresa
Most scientists warned against population density, crowding, hygiene, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and emphysema exacerbated by environmental pollution in African countries and African American communities. We are not surprised that Covid-19 deaths are Seventy Percent disproportionally in black and minority communities in the United States. Alarming case study for African leaders if they care.
Some Africans also called Covid-19 the disease of the Rich, International travelers, and Foreigners. Well, it will be counterproductive when they realize the same elites will infect their house-helps that will transfer the disease to their crowded and poor communities where it will explode like fire. Just as in African countries, some black people in Diaspora thought they were naturally Immune.
The misinformation going round that Covid-19 could not infect black people because we only saw the faces of Asians, Europeans and American whites on televisions and social media infected and dying at alarming rates. It is the reason for urgent need and attention promoting treatment and palliative measures. All resources are being mobilized to arrest and reverse the deadly scourge.
Lost or hidden in the real statistics of those dying especially in the United States of America for months, is that about Seventy percent of those deaths are African Americans and Hispanics. In the Southern States of America where Obamacare or Affordable (Health) Care Act has not been implemented based on ideology, the poor and more African Americans are dying of Covid-19 than any other group. The same is true in Louisiana where blacks make up 32%of the population but 70% of deaths. In Illinois’ Chicago, 72% of city residents who have died from the virus are African Americans. https ://chicago.suntimes.com/coronavirus/2020/4/6/21209848/coronavirus-covid-19-deaths-racial-disparity-life-expectancy-arwady-lightfoot
There are fears in some quarters that once Covid-19 becomes a black disease, World Presidents and Prime Ministers will lose interest in the daily briefing prompting urgency, prevention, immunization and cure. While the pessimistic view may be suspicious, research and cures are more likely tailored to self interest, recovery of cost and profit than to charity or Universal Care. Leaders of African countries cannot expect charity when their priorities are for vanities and “feferity” are more important than substance.
Diseases, directed by the economics and health system, pick winners and losers, resulting in casualties by their input not by fate. Indeed, the system ridiculed and denied those that have struggled to survive against all odds. The selective treatment gained respectability by choosing a token few from the destitute for Free Care to demonstrate piteous magnanimity. In Africa those few are looters that can afford foreign hospitals.
While it is true that more Africans are suffering from underlying diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and live in highly congested cities where the spread of Coronavirus and Covid-19 in particular is easily spread, it does not justify denying black Americans prevention to susceptible diseases as Coronavirus. The problems ACA was trying to address before they occurred.
Low plasma renin activity in hypertension is prevalent in Afro-Caribbean communities is not an excuse that nothing can be done about it. This reduced angiotensin converting enzyme 2 activity are reported in people with pre-hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and chronic renal disease. https ://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7036504/
We saw this bias played out when AIDS became black disease, during Ebola or tropical diseases. But nobody would tag opium addiction that was not infectious, skin cancer or Alzheimer disease “genetic”. Melatonin are not as much in whites and most blacks do not live that long enough for Alzheimer disease anyway.
Physical distancing hardly works well in African crowded cities and can rarely work in low paying jobs that are essential services mostly occupied by minorities to keep the Countries in Europe and Americas going. Minorities are overly represented disproportionally in agricultural, fast food retail, grocery, health aides in Hospitals and Nursing homes service industries; many without health insurance. These folks need their salaries and the system makes it hard for them to get paid enough to stay home.
What demonstrates Economic reality of the survival of the fittest? It is the adherence to a class system that creates cheap and surplus labor from which the privileged can pick and choose without working hard, as others work to death to shoulder the system. While preaching to workers to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, they reserve privileges for themselves and their families. They adhere to Religion to enforce the economic and healthcare disparity to justify the status quo.
When law and order are established as a civilized society where no one is turned away from treatment in hospitals the same healthcare and justice eluded the oppressed as members in greater need of protection: letting you know it is a farce.
Unfortunately, this same ideology that is used to deny African Americans in their own countries, is used by African politicians and elites as tactics to deny members of their local communities to maintain adequate healthcare.