Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Being Black in this Pandemic

In England and Wales, Covid-19 patients from black African backgrounds die at more than triple (3.5) rate compared to white people (via), black men are 4.2 times more likely to die than their white counterparts (via) (chances of dying are 1.7 times higher for people of black Caribbean heritage, 2.7 times higher for those with Pakistani heritage). The victims also show the tendency to be younger.

According to a report, ethnic minorities are dying in excess numbers in hospitals, among them a striking number of ethnic minority healthcare workers. This fact that can only be explained considering different factors for different groups. For instance, while black Africans are more likely to be affected because of the key worker roles they are employed in, older Bangladeshi men have health conditions that make them more vulnerable (via).
More than 20% of black African women are employed in health and social care roles while Pakistani men are 90% more likely to work in healthcare roles than their white British counterparts. Similarly, while Indian people make up just 3% of the working population in England and Wales, they account for 14% of doctors, according to the research.
In addition, there are differences when it comes to economic vulnerability:
Bangladeshi men are four times as likely as white British men to have jobs in shutdown industries, with Pakistani men nearly three times as likely," she said. This is partly because of their heavy concentration in the restaurant and taxi sector, she suggested. "Household savings are lower than average among black Africans, black Caribbeans and Bangladeshis," she added. "By contrast, Indians and the largely foreign-born other white group do not seem to be facing disproportionate economic risks.
Lucinda Platt
While only 2% of white British households experienced overcrowding from 2014 to 2017, 30% of Bangladeshi households, 16% of Pakistani households and 12% of black households experienced this, according to a study of the English Housing Survey. (via)
To put it in a nutshell, it is complex:
To try to understand how much of the difference in Covid-19 morbidity was to do purely with ethnicity, the statisticians adjusted for age as well as region, rural and urban classification, area deprivation, household composition, socio-economic position, highest qualification held, household tenure, and health or disability as recorded in the 2011 census. (via)
The fully adjusted results show differences in risk between ethnic groups that are specific to those ethnic groups and are not caused by any of the factors listed on which members of the groups might differ. (via)
In the US, Covid-19 fatalities are extremely high among black Americans:
As of Tuesday, black people made up 33 percent of cases in Michigan and 40 percent of deaths, despite being just 14 percent of the state’s population. In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where blacks represent 26 percent of the population, they made up almost half of the county’s 945 cases and 81 percent of its 27 deaths, according to a ProPublica report. In Illinois, black people made up 42 percent of fatalities but make up only 14.6 percent of the state’s population. In Chicago, the data is even graver: Black people represented 68 percent of the city’s fatalities and more than 50 percent of cases but only make up 30 percent of the city’s total population.
In the South, the numbers are also grim. In Louisiana, black people accounted for more than 70 percent of deaths in a state population that is about 33 percent black. About 33 percent of the state’s 512 deaths as of Tuesday morning have occurred in Orleans Parish, where black people make up more than 60 percent of the population and where 29 percent of people live in poverty, according to 2018 census data. (via)
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photograph by the amazing Vivian Maier via


  1. Thank you, again and again!

    1. And thank YOU(!) for still dropping by after almost seven years, yes seven years, can't believe it.