Though many people have resumed pre-covid activities and customs the pandemic is still very much going, and Black and Latino people are apparently living as such.
According to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, while White people have discarded the use of masks in their everyday lives and grinds, Black and Latino people tend to remain masked up as we continue to have higher rates of infections and hospitalizations in the population. In polls conducted it was found that the Black and Latino communities practice safety when going out in public while white folks are living like it’s every man for himself out in these streets.
In the surveys, the gap is sharpest between Black and white respondents: an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from April found that 71% of Black Americans favored requiring face masks for people traveling on public transportation, compared to 59% of Hispanics, and 52% of white, non-Hispanics. The poll surveyed 1,085 people, with a margin of error in the total sample of 3.9%. Another poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) from this spring found that a total of 81% of Black Americans surveyed said they wore a mask all or most of the time when “indoors in public places,” compared to 65% of Hispanics and 39% of white, non-Hispanics. Kaiser’s poll surveyed 1,243 adults, with a margin of error of at least 4%.
As to why those numbers are the way they are, there’s no specific answer. Yes, Covid-19 did more damage to Black and Brown families than their white counterparts due to various reasons including tight living quarters in minority communities which meant if one person in the home was infected then everyone was bound to catch it. White people on the other hand didn’t experience those kind sof struggles and apparently figured it wasn’t their problem, so to heck with masks.
“What we see is, the more [white] people perceive there to be racial disparities in impact, the more likely they will not be in support of mask-wearing,” said Allison L. Skinner-Dorkenoo, UGA psychology professor and co-author of a recent studyby members of the university’s psychology department. The study involved asking written questions of 500 white participants and concluded that, if white people believed that COVID posed a greater threat to Black and Hispanic people, they were less afraid of the virus and may be less likely to wear a mask themselves.
The Caucasity!! But wait, there’s more.
Similarly, Berkeley Franz, community-based health professor at Ohio University, led a study that found white people living in areas of the country where Black and Latino people were dying from the virus at higher rates were less likely to wear masks — and that “mask usage increased when White death rates relative to Black and Hispanic rates increased.”
It also doesn’t help that misinformation and conspiracy theories about the vaccines that came out of right-wing MAGA sources made it’s way into Black and Brown communities and made many people scared to get vaccinated and just continue to wear masks on a daily basis. Those same folks pumping out that misinformation meanwhile have been vaccinated and basically cut the line in order to do so. Still, the damage is done and Black and Latinos believes that getting vaccinated is a trap to hurt minorities or even mutate into something more sinister down the line.
Kathy Carey wears her mask in most public places, although not at church, where fewer people are going since services went online and those who go in person sit six feet apart. She also doesn’t mask at her community’s gym, because “not many people go there.” Carey, 62, also hadn’t been vaccinated. “I’m not doing vaccines,” she said. “I don’t trust them.”
“I’ve made my own decisions,” she added.
Well, at least she’s wearing a mask, right?