COVID-19 and the Systemic Impact on Health Outcomes
Public health crises highlight already existing disparities that are often unseen or overlooked. In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting changes to society have severely affected populations worldwide. While mortality is but one measure of the severity of the pandemic, the numbers continue to rise with scores of individuals infected daily. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control on April 1, 2021, the nationwide impact of COVID-19 has resulted in the deaths of nearly 591,000 people and 33 million total cases since January 2020 (Centers for Disease Control, 2021a). Despite the relative newness of the disease, COVID-19 ranks as the third leading cause of death in 2020, following heart disease and cancer (Ahmad et al., 2021). In addition to the loss of life and increasing infection rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has also upended lives with none of us untouched.
The introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2020 was a monumental event in curbing the spread of the virus. Equitas Health is doing its part. Columbus Urban League (CUL), the African American Male Wellness Agency (AAMWA), and their Black Vaccine initiative collaborated with Equitas Health to provide door-to-door outreach for vaccination events. The outreach provided 80 vaccines to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) King-Lincoln Bronzeville residents through the Equitas Health MOVe pop-up clinic. Equitas health pharmacy and prevention teams also collaborated with Black churches (Trinity Baptist and Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal) to hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics for congregants and community members. There is a need to evaluate the strategies used in addressing health disparities in BIPOC communities. Equitas Health’s COVID-19 community engagement and quality clinical care have demonstrated our mission to serve those the most in need in our communities during these unprecedented times.
Ahmad, F. B., Cisewski, J. A., Minino, A., Anderson, R. N. (2021). Provisional Mortality Data — United States. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7014e1.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021a, May 4). COVID Data Tracker. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021b, February 21). Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/race-ethnicity.html
Kantamneni, N. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized populations in the United States: A research agenda. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, 103439.