In SummaryA recent study found that Black people are less likely than any other racial group to be accommodated after beating COVID-19, results that further speak to the racial disparities prominent in the outbreak.
A recent University of Michigan study found Black COVID-19 patients are less likely to obtain medical follow-ups after being hospitalized and, on average, experienced a 35.5-day delay post-virus before returning to work, the longest of any race group.
The researchers looked at the health outcomes of 2,217 COVID-19 patients in Michigan 60 days after they were admitted to the hospital, and found that more than half of patients of color were readmitted within 60 days, per NBC News’ Kynala Phillips. Patients of color were also less likely than any other racial group to be provided workplace adjustments and 65% more likely to face moderate to severe financial consequences.
One of the most striking findings was the absence of physician follow-ups which, according to gerontologist and lead researcher Dr. Sheria G. Robinson-Lane, could be attributed to a staff shortage and the stigma associated with visiting a doctor after being infected with COVID-19.
“I think people only think of COVID in terms of death, you know, or having like a mild cold, they don’t think about all of those spaces in between where people are having these effects post-COVID,” said Robinson-Lane. “So, we need to do a much better job about coordinating care, to find out what it is that people need.”
It has long been confirmed that Black and Hispanic people die from COVID-19 at rates higher than those of other ethnic or racial groups, per The Associated Press. They also have less access to medical care and are in worse health, with greater incidences of diabetes and hypertension. While more likely to have important professions, they don’t have the same opportunities to work from home, and live in crowded, multigenerational families, where working family members are more likely to infect others.
“In addition to being more likely to have some underlying health conditions, there is a long history of bias and a low prioritization of the health of persons of color by health care providers,” said Robinson-Lane, addressing disparities.
To combat racial inequities, Robinson-Lane recommends more healthcare institutions establish COVID-19 specific care clinics to help patients better manage their infection, and most importantly, get vaccinated and continue masking up.