Covid-19 and BAME Inequality.
Previously, I have talked about the gender inequalities that wearing scrubs has exposed within the healthcare system. This weeks post there will be a wider focus on Covid-19 and BAME inequality.
Recently, the murder of George Floyd, a 47 year old Black man, has been brought to the attention of the public eye. Footage has been shared of the (now charged) police officer kneeling on George’s neck. This happened for 9 minutes, whilst he begged for his life and can be heard saying “I can’t breathe”. This event lead to the murder of the 47 year old. This tragic death is an unforgivable casualty of police brutality and systematic racism.
A Subject People Find Difficult to Address
Firstly, it is undoubtably a difficult subject to address. It is extremely important to talk about, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. Secondly, its important to address the leading voices on the matter Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi (Founders of the Black Lives Matter movement). Finally, I can only speak from my own expertise and experiences. Therefore, I wanted to make this next post about something I am very familiar with. Concluding this, this post will be (as you might have guessed) about Covid 19!
Covid-19 and BAME Britons
This week I would like to talk about how BAME Britons have a disproportionate mortality rate from this virus. This is twice the risk of death according to the ONS. This is a health inequality that needs addressing.
Whilst we are in the middle of the pandemic with a virus that has many victims (including young and usually health people) many people seem to think its unimportant to focus on specifics such as who is more affected. However, as the affects of the virus have unrolled across the UK, it has become ever more pressingly apparent that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are disproportionately dying from the Corona Virus. Out of the 200 health workers who have died in the UK from Covid 19, 60% of the people were BAME.
It has never been more important to collect, study and distribute the findings from a health crisis. To look into who is disproportionately affected by it and what we can do to minimise this public health inequality. In summary It is not ok to place unequal value on the lives that have been lost during this pandemic and its time we addressed it.
On the 10th May there were calls for a public enquiry into this issue. 70 public figures (including London Mayor Sadiq Khan) signed a letter to the Prime Minister demanding transparency into this matter. Public Inquiry’s are important for safety, education and can lay foundations for future policy makers and research. An inquiry could help employers make appropriate allocation decisions based upon risk assessments increased safety for staff.
Risk assessment for BAME NHS staff
Gal-dem.com outlines excellently why there is a need for an independent public inquiry into this.
Moving on from the public inquiry, here are other recent and relevant pieces of news.
Firstly the first news story I will mention is, The tragic death of Belly Mujinga. A woman who lost her life 2 weeks after being spat on by a man claiming he had the Corona Virus whilst working her essential role at London Victoria station.
Additionally, The tragic death of Trevor Belle a 61 year old taxi driver who died 3 weeks after being spat at by one of his passengers.
What you can do
Firstly, for people living in London who want to support communities in the capital.
Similarly, for people who want to volunteer:
Moreover, if you can donate money to support memorial services for BAME families, bereaved because of Covid-19
Additionally, if you can sign a petition supporting a public inquiry into BAME loss of life to Covid: