Health Disparities: COVID-19 In Latinx Communities & Latin America
By: Audrey Weigel
Sophomore | HSA | Review
*Slides from the GBM are attached at the bottom
COVID-19 has taken the entire world by storm in the last couple of months. A lot of information about the virus is still unknown but one thing is for sure: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on Hispanic populations in relation to other groups.
For example, the CDC’s weighted population data (weighted factors make the data samples match the population) has shown that while the Hispanic population only makes up 18 percent of the total country’s population, but this demographic accounts for over 26 percent of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.
This is even more pertinent in Florida because the Hispanic population makes up a third of its COVID-19 hospitalizations and a quarter of its deaths. The Hispanic population also has higher risks than other populations due to limited access to healthcare and their occupation.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Hispanics are 21 percent of all essential workers. This is due to various reasons that include a lack of education and/or language barriers. Organizations such as The Farmworker Association of Florida have been primarily focused on protecting essential workers from the virus since Florida cases began to rise.
The same goes for the Latin America and Caribbean region. According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 4.6 million cases and more than 191,000 people have died. Researchers are beginning to believe that Latin America and the Caribbean will soon become the new epicenter of the virus.
The pandemic has worsened political stability in Latin America and the Caribbean due to virus-induced hunger and growing resentment towards democracy. 231 million people are expected to fall into poverty as companies continue to go out of business. China has announced a $1 billion loan to this region for vaccine access. Organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization are focused on minimizing the effects of the virus on the economy and the lives of healthcare workers.
What can you do to stop the spread of the virus? Wear a face covering, wash your hands and keep a safe distance.
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