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A Call for Unity… and Science

in Science & Technology by

2020 has been no normal year. It has been full of unpredictability, which makes us uncomfortable. COVID-19 has changed how we interact with each other. Our ability to have the human connection we so desire has been difficult, especially from six feet apart. Having a presidential election in the middle of this unprecedented year has further divided America. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed these divisions at a time when we should all be unifying and doing our part to help others. 

Politicizing science as a democratic or republican issue is utterly ridiculous. Wearing a mask (or not) should not be a political statement. Public health experts are giving the American public the best advice and information they can to help save lives and get us out of this mess.  It is deeply disappointing and disturbing when these experts are referred to as idiots and their message minimized, either for political gain or the selfish desire to do whatever you want. This has created an atmosphere where many people do not trust the scientists, which has caused this crisis to spiral out of control with no clear end in sight.

So what can we do to make the situation better?  We can listen to the medical experts who are trying their best to help us get out of this mess. We can all wear a mask, social distance, and wash our hands frequently. We can also educate ourselves and tone down the political rhetoric. We should be able to disagree with someone politically without challenging their character.  Unfortunately, we live in a world in which many people do not feel comfortable sharing their political views for fear of what others might think of them, or worse, losing a friend.  But we as Americans need to take off our partisan hats and realize that this pandemic cannot be solved by division and hate, it can be solved only by coming together as a nation to listen and follow the guidelines laid out by our nation’s best health experts. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can get what we all desire: predictability and a sense of normalcy.

Racial Disparities During the Covid-19 Pandemic

in Science & Technology/Social Issues by

So far, the Covid-19 virus has taken the lives of over 420,000 people worldwide. In the United States alone, there have been over 2,000,000 confirmed cases, and 117,000 deaths. African-Americans have accounted over one third of coronavirus fatalities, even though they make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population. So why is this? Pre existing inequities tied to race, socio-economic status, and access to healthcare are contributing factors as to why there are a disproportionate number of deaths between black and white people. In Wisconsin, African-Americans are only 6 percent of the population, but make up 40 percent of Covid-19 deaths. Socio-economic disparities between communities of color and white people have led to a difference in health outcomes due to lack of accessible resources for many inner city communities. Covid-19 has brought to light the impact of years of environmental racism and systemic oppression. As a direct result of slavery, colonization, and segregation, people of color have been forced to occupy inner city neighborhoods, which are much more susceptible to infection than suburbs or affluent parts of the city. People of color have never been as successful as their white counterparts because of generations of violence against them. On top of that, the government has enforced capitalism as a system grounded in white colonialism to ensure POC continue to live life in the cycle of poverty. Food deserts, medical apartheid, and poor air quality are just a few factors that contribute to higher rates of heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure in inner city neighborhoods. These diseases leave individuals with compromised immune systems and leads to a lower survival rate of Covid-19. In hospitals and centers where Covid-19 is being treated, there have been far too many occasions when doctors and nurses disregard black patients. This stems from the false stereotype that black people can sustain pain more than white people, and they therefore receive less or no treatments. Bringing forth equality in the U.S. will only come once everyone acknowledges the systemic racism and oppression that marginalized groups face in this country, and actively work to reconstruct these systems.



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