Some 200,000 Americans have been killed by the coronavirus, and a disproportionate amount of them are African Americans. Black Americans experience the highest mortality rates nationwide. About one in 1,000 have died because of COVID-19, and that can be attributed to underlying health conditions.
To grapple this issue, the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce (RCOC) has orchestrated a 5K race with their sponsors at Family Health Centers Long Island FQHC Inc. The “Unity 5K Strong Island Fun/Run Walk and Virtual 5K,” is set to take place on Sat. Oct. 10. The event is being held to help raise awareness and promote healthy habits.
“We wanted to do something to support our community and kind of help people be aware of healthy activities,” said David Nemiroff, the president and CEO of the Long Island FQHC.
Black people make up nearly 60% of COVID deaths, according to Amfar, an AIDS research group. There are many socioeconomic determinants like access to healthcare, housing and occupation status, that make this minority group more vulnerable. Black Americans also have disproportionately higher rates of pre-existing conditions, including heart disease and cancer, which are associated with more COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.
“The health disparities of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, hypertension and obesity afflicts us at a higher rate,” said John F. Boyd Sr., President of RCOC. “COVID-19 relies on these factors to attack these vulnerable victims of this virus.”
Additionally, Black Americans are more likely to be essential workers. According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Black workers make up about one in nine workers overall, and about one in six front-line-industry workers.
“For the first responders, who are at the front line and are the most at risk, we are having this event as a safe way to fight COVID-19 outdoors, practicing social distancing and abiding by the NY State Guidelines.”
The bottom line is that these issues have been growing historically, creating these racial inequalities that have ultimately led to this tragic outcome. The 5K Strong Island Run-Fun Walk Against COVID-19, is being held to help to raise awareness of these problems and promote change. For more updates, visit the website here.