When it comes to health and wellness in today’s norm, Covid-19, is the proverbial elephant in the room. The pandemic has been sweeping the nation since mid-February and has impacted at a disproportionately higher rate the African American and Hispanic communities.
Granted many of us are weary from being on lockdown and other restrictions imposed on us as we wade through these unchartered waters. But under no circumstance can we let our guard down when it comes to protecting ourselves from this disease.
First, this pandemic has turned the spotlight on the health disparity that exists for minorities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) has identified “long-standing systemic health and social inequities” as key factors that have put some members of minority groups at increased risk of experiencing severe illness, with the risk increasing as we age. Among Covid-19 related deaths reported in the United States, 8 out of 10 were among adults 65 years of age and older.
CDC reported impact rates on minorities
As of the end of June, the CDC reported that the rates for non-Hispanic blacks, native American Indians and Alaskans, the rate of hospitalization or death from Covid-19 was approximately 5 times that of non-Hispanic whites. Hispanic or Latinos, the rate was approximately 4 times that of non-Hispanic whites.
With communities and businesses opening back up, and restrictions being eased, personal precautions must still be maintained to minimize the risk of contracting Covid-19. This is especially so for those with underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and asthma which were found to have a role in the increased hospitalization and death rates for African Americans.
Yes, there is a lot to consider as we continue to tread through these unknown waters. You want to continue wearing a face mask in public, washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and maintaining social distancing of 6 feet or more.
One major action step that will help ease the stress is to develop a care plan that summarizes your health conditions, medicines, healthcare providers, emergency contacts and end-of-life care options. Below are resources to help you get started with creating a care plan.
- Guidance on how to develop your emergency preparedness care plan.
- Download a fillable care plan form pdf icon[5 pages]
- Serious Illness Care Program COVID-19 Response Toolkitexternal icon