COVID-19 is exposing U.S. racism in a stark new way because the black and brown bodies are piling up so fast that they can’t be — these deaths can’t be normalized or ignored.
And the idea that racism is operating in this pandemic is in two separate fronts. It’s increasing exposure to the virus, and it has increased vulnerability to the virus.
So, increasing exposure to the virus because the way that bias, that structures timeliness and assigns value, has structured our enlightening openings and job opportunities, we are in more front-facing, low-income underappreciated places, where we are part of the essential workforce that really isn’t getting its full attention, and certainly not getting complete protection that we need.
Racism has enhanced the vulnerability of us to this virus, because breathing in racially isolated neighborhoods that are resource separated, without sufficient path to food, and are environmental racism hazard segregated has made us carry in our bodies all of those same diseases — diabetes, high blood pressure, renal disease, asthma — that are causing people who get infected to the virus sicker and die faster from it.