There are significant inequalities in care, from misdiagnosis to overuse of medications to misunderstanding cultural expressions of mental distress.
The United States, is the only industrialized nation with no national paid maternity leave and no federally required vacation.
And for African Americans, the never-ending onslaught of the stress of systemic and personal racism and discrimination — both at the macro and micro levels — exacerbates what regular life in America brings.
There’s a strong relationship between socioeconomic status and health such that people at the lower end, people in poverty tend to have poorer health and tend to have fewer resources for dealing with the stressors of life.
According to the National Poverty Center, poverty rates for Blacks greatly exceed the national average. And poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are Black or Hispanic.
Access to testing and screening is a central point of contention when thinking about the containing and treating COVID-19. Often communities are not equipped with adequate facilities and services.
Having to seek treatment outside of the place where you live is an added barrier and provides for another layer of issues related to time, work, and transportation.
In addition, regional differences are significant in help-seeking behavior. When meeting with a provider, it is important to ask questions to get a sense of their level of cultural sensitivity, such as whether they have treated other African Americans, received training in cultural competence, and how they plan to take beliefs and practices into account when suggesting treatment. The foremost barriers that we all face include the cost of care, societal stigma, and the fragmented organization of services. Additional barriers include clinicians’ lack of awareness of cultural issues, bias, or inability to speak the client’s language, and the client’s fear and mistrust of treatment.
Communication between patients and clinicians is critical when it comes to complying with quarantine protocols getting vaccinated adhering to medication and medical treatment. Research shows that access to these health services may be influenced by barriers including, poor quality of health care, (limited access to clinicians that are culturally competent), and cultural matching (limited access to work with minority clinicians).
The way Corona Virus is defined by the US government has been ever-changing since it has been identified and subgroups of geographical communities have different views about the information being communicated to them. With the plethora of platforms and opportunities to give, share and receive information we have to ensure that the facts are adhered to especially when it comes to government, the scientific field and medical field. The way our government enforces policies and regulations pertaining to Public Health (and COVID 19), reshapes how people self-identify, communicate, and associate with public health (and COVID 19). Public health works in a political context even if it is not our own political side, we shouldn’t be afraid of factual evidence we should be afraid of muzzling the truth.
This mis-trust in government and health policy stakeholders can lead citizens to engage in unhealthy behaviors and to look for information in sources that are unreliable, in the attempt to look for a quick fix/solution to disasters like this one.
This includes rushed vaccines (that are not reliable or valid), stock piling valuable health resources (personal protective equipment) making them inaccessible to others who really need it the most, because consumers have low confidence that public health officials are doing everything in their power to protect their citizens.
People feel like they have to protect themselves because the government is not protecting them. Many people don’t have the resources to protect themselves due to low monetary funds, highlighting the huge problem of being pre-dispositioned to contract COVID-19 because they’re poor (or a living paycheck to paycheck).
The stakeholders have the power to ensure that hospitals are enforcing defense measures against COVID-19, people are abiding by the social distancing guidelines, health workers having the appropriate equipment and the proper instruments to deal with people that are affected by COVID-19. Vaccines do save lives however they don’t always outweigh the symptoms of a disease, sometimes vaccines are more detrimental than the disease it is trying cure in the first place. This makes it imperative to base public health policies on scientific facts and NOT on swayed by political rhetoric. We must understand that we need to inform the public about the vaccine works, how it works, who it works for, and why it should be taken (the fallacies and benefits of the vaccine) before administering it to the general public.