Here in Michigan, the racial disparity in COVID-19 impact is stark and chilling.

Detroit is largely Black, approaching 100% in residential neighborhoods, excluding a few enclaves of hipster gentrification that are mostly white.

Adequate health care in Detroit (where I lived for many years) is a dicey proposition in ordinary times. Unemployment and poverty are rife.

People seek routine treatment in hospital ERs, because they don’t have primary care physicians. Doctors tend not to open practices in places where Medicaid is how most people pay.

So even in the best of times, hosptitals are overcrowded by suburban (white) standards.

There’s even a busy AIDS ward in one hospital, in a time when access to effective HIV treatment should make AIDS a bad memory.

Now? Friends of mine in Detroit tell me the situation is hellish. COVID19 is racing through neighborhoods, hospitals are filled beyond capacity, and the numbers of fatalities have driven the entire state to near the top of the “worst” list in the United States.

Meanwhile, much of the rest (the white part) of the state is so unaffected by Covid-19 that thousands conservatives rallied in Lansing yesterday to protest the governor’s shelter in place order.

If this pandemic doesn’t teach us that our healthcare system is racist and fundamentally broken, I fear nothing will.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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