COVID-19: The Truth Is Yet to Come

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Governor McMaster’s mandate to remain at home and hour by hour updates on the Coronavirus have some folks going stir crazy. It’s difficult separating truth from fiction. You have President Trump on one hand grandstanding and providing “fake” information while noted health care professionals are painting a more serious picture of the virus. I don’t know about y’all but I am listening to health care and infectious disease professionals. And, to make matters worse, blacks are dying in record numbers from the virus. After being locked down for several weeks, I am feeling a little stir crazy myself. However, something is amiss about the origin and transmission of Covid-19.

If I am to believe reports that the virus does not discriminate between young and old, gender or race, why are so many blacks dying? In Chicago, the black death rate is six times higher than whites. In Louisiana, 70 percent of the deaths attributed to the virus is black. According to the New York Times, the same seems to hold true for Vegas and when compared with whites, North and South Carolina have a higher disproportionate number of blacks that have tested positive. Statistics are not in on New York, New Jersey, Washington, California and other states that have high numbers that have tested positive or died from the virus. Senators from some of the highly impacted states are asking that the data be collected and released for all states.

I am always suspect when black folk are disproportionately impacted by anything. Are y’all listening? Disparities affecting a higher percentage of blacks are—police profiling, longer sentencing, education, predatory lending, low wages, unemployment, health issues and carcinogens. While I am aware of health issues impacting African Americans, I am also aware of disparities in accessibility to affordable health care coverage, treatment, and medication over the years that have contributed to overall poor health.

So, what has made blacks more vulnerable to diseases? Years of inaccessibility to health care is certainly one factor. However, even more devastating is the overriding factor of plants, emissions, rails and highly traveled highways that are almost always constructed in black communities that contribute to poor health in African American. When I was a little girl, a train ran through my neighborhood. Back in the day, before GPS, if you were traveling out-of-state trying to find friends or relatives, wherever you found railroad tracks you found them. I am far removed from that little inquisitive girl and nothing much has changed.  Rails are still being constructed in black neighborhoods. 

The Department of Transportation still runs major highways and exchanges through black neighborhoods and cell towers are being constructed in or near black communities. How many of you remember the Exxon plant on Meeting Street that had a massive fire? Across the street in Rosemont, Albright and Wilson plant released toxic chemicals into the air causing cancer in many of the residents. The Steel Plant and Navy Yard released toxic chemicals. And, what about the old fertilizer mill that you often had to hold your nose as you rode into Charleston on interstate 26. In Accabee, residents were prisoners in their own homes as they breathed in cement dust from Van Smith Concrete Company for decades. All the above mentioned and more were in the heart of the black community. Yet those residents were denied free treatment and/or compensation. This is not an isolated happening. This calculated building plan is evident across America in low income neighborhoods.

Fast forwarding to 2020, Videos and text messages are being circulated on 5G Towers that are springing up worldwide. Is it just talk circulating? Or, is there some connection between 5G towers and the Covid-19 virus that has killed thousands world-wide? What is the common denominator of this world-wide virus? Check out the location of these towers and the proximity to low income neighborhoods. It may turn out to be a credible hypothesis after all.  In order for a virus to impact millions of people worldwide, and travel at such a rapid speed, something isn’t adding up.

While the verdict is still out on Covid-19, stay indoors as much as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly. Practice social distancing. My people, my people, beware of evil doers. Don’t allow dangerous highways with thousands of vehicles to run through your neighborhoods or the construction of toxic plants that are ruining your health. Stay Woke and you will live longer!

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