COVID-19 tore through New York City when it first hit the United States, leaving unimaginable death and suffering in its wake. And the fight is far from over.
Although we have made great strides in understanding, treating, and tracking the virus, our planning is flawed and inconsistent — and it is costing us lives.
- Vaccination strategy, telehealth, and rapid testing are part of the plan.
- People of color have higher rates of chronic illness.
- Access to quality healthcare and food will improve outcomes.
- Together we can restore public confidence and protect our health.
"I was one of those people of color living with a chronic illness .... I switched to eating only healthy foods and began practicing mindfulness. .... Within months, I sent my diabetes into remission."
COVID-19 hit us as hard as it did because our public health system was — and still is — woefully inadequate, especially for communities of color.
Like a patient with a weak immune system, the underlying condition that has allowed COVID-19 to kill so many Black and Brown New Yorkers is inequality. We cannot hope to control the coronavirus without also curing that disease.
People of color in our city have far-higher rates of chronic illness and the comorbidities that make people vulnerable to COVID-19 and other viruses. Black New Yorkers’ life expectancy is a full four years lower than the citywide average. That is the result of poor healthcare, lack of healthy food options, and unhealthy living conditions.
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane."
– Dr. Martin Luther King