Community News Coronavirus Health

Pregnancy reveals how bad blacks are getting COVID-19

Normal everyday people like you or I aren’t rushing to get antibody testing, but it seems pregnant women don’t have an issue with it. 

Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine have been collecting data on this and came up with some interesting findings

  • Black and Hispanic pregnant women in Philadelphia tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus five times as often as their white counterparts
  • One in 10 Black and Hispanic pregnant women tested positive for exposure to the virus, compared with one in 50 white pregnant women and one in 100 Asians.

Penn reiterates the reasons why and how black and hispanic patients have worse access to health care, on average, and that some may be mistrustful of the health-care system and less likely to get tested.

The pregnant women in the study, on the other hand, represented an unbiased cross-section of the population, as the blood samples came from all those who delivered babies at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from April 4 to June 3. The nearly 1,300 samples were collected for the purpose of obstetric care, and thus no consent was needed for the subsequent testing for coronavirus antibodies.

Business Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Are all COVID-19 tests created equal?

Yesterday I shared my distaste for the once-in-a-while drive-thru COVID-19 testing events. With a little effort, and at the same cost, people can be tested everyday of the week in a manner more suited for a medical procedure like a doctor’s office or clinic and not through a car window.

People don’t ask enough questions about their health care and are willing to accept anything anyone brings them. I asked a few simple questions directly to the Black Doctors Covid Consortium who came to Chester in March to do a drive-thru testing in Chester and I didn’t get a straight answer. I guess they figured I had no right to ask who invited them and they had no responsibility to answer. I decided all my other questions would probably not be answered so I let it go. 

Today, I read an article in the Washington Post where the Maryland Health Department has ordered a Prince George’s labthat had been processing coronavirus specimens collected at pop-up clinics to cease operations, saying the facility does not have the proper certification. Obviously, someone asked a few questions in Maryland which led to the suspension of Advanced Pain Medicine Institute’s license to operate a medical lab and perform any lab testing.

Community News Coronavirus Health

‘EU’ wins the battle over COVID-19

Chester’s Emmanuel ‘EU’ Gilbert was one of the first people in Chester to get COVID-19. Even before the county started taking count, he had it. He became the poster guy as the one who got COVID that made it real for a lot of us who may have been in denial in the early days of the outbreak.

Every update I got was worse than the one before. He spent nearly a month on a respirator. On two separate occasions I got calls that he wasn’t expected to make it through the night. I got to the point of only wanting to hear he didn’t make it or he was released from the hospital because the updates were too upsetting.

In the past couple weeks I got reports that folks were receiving phone calls from him. And then early this morning I saw him being wheeled out of Taylor Hospital on Fox News. I’m not accustomed to getting all emotional at 4:45am, but my oatmeal had to wait while I pumped my fist right along with him. Finally, some happy news in these couple months of mounting sadness.

Big Homie is home!


Who should share COVID-19 data?

Bob Garfield, host of the ‘On the Media’ podcast in their episode entitled Communication Breakdown made this statement to Phil McCausland of NBC News…

Just when the public needs the straight dope the most, local newspapers are dropping like flies.

McCausland replied with…

Right now is when we depend on local journalism to dig into their own communities, to highlight these issues, to hold their local leaders accountable, to hold their governors and state legislators accountable. What is really scary is we are  going to see a media blackout in regions of the country where some of these hotspots might pick up and we’re not going to able to note that pick up as quickly as we could if we had journalists on the ground asking questions who know their regions really well, knowing the leaders really well, and asking difficult questions. 

Coronavirus Health Opinion

Coronavirus is being flushed down the toilet along with other stuff

When I’m not hugging a keyboard, I work as a certified wastewater operator. That’s a fancy term for someone who makes sure the facilities work properly that clean the water that leaves your house before it heads to the stream or river. Work is so easy if all I had to deal with was water, but people have a bad habit of putting things in the water that don’t belong.

Every plumber will stress to never put anything down the toilet besides toilet paper. Some plumbers insist you seek the best single-ply toilet paper available. Beware of thick two and three-ply papers if you have an old home because it can wreck havoc on old plumbing.

By the time the water gets to my end the toilet paper has dissolved and everything works beautifully. However, people tend to treat a toilet like a trash can.

Book Reviews Coronavirus Opinion

Revisiting ‘Underground Airlines’ during coronavirus

I didn’t realize it was so long ago, but in September 2017 I reviewed a book called ‘Underground Airlines.’ It’s a dystopian story of what America would be like if slavery never ended. I’m reminded of that great book when I wonder if the author, Ben Winters, would have changed things up a bit had the coronavirus pandemic occurred before he wrote it. 

The book was set in modern times and instead of enslaved people working the fields, they were working in sweatshops manufacturing clothes in factories in the south. I believe if he were to write the story today, enslaved people would be working at Amazon warehouses, grocery stores, Walmart, Target, and meat processing plants as essential workers. 

Coronavirus Government Health Opinion

Should people with freckles get priority for COVID-19 cases?

If someone told you 70% of the people with COVID-19 had freckles, you’d expect there’d be a mad rush to find out what was going on with the spotted ones. Yet, there are communities across America reporting 70% of their people with COVID-19 are Black, even when they represent a scant 13% of the population in those communities, and the response is, ‘Oh my, that’s interesting!’

Yesterday’s paper said the Governor’s new chief concern is minority communities but it has nothing to do with conducting tests and everything to do with urging medical facilities to follow a mandate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to include race and ethnicity data in demographics with test results. Todays’ paper says, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be prioritizing COVID-19 testing for nursing home residents and workers, following a request from U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., this week.

Who’s got the juice to get testing to Delaware County’s Black communities? From what I’ve seen, everyone has failed up to this point. 

Coronavirus Crime Criminal Justice Government Health Opinion

Should you call the cops on people not keeping their social distance?

I was in a long line at the grocery store, as we’re all prone to do these days, and as the line was inching closer to the checkout, the lady behind me was inching closer to me clearly ignoring the bright yellow Xs on the floor. I couldn’t tell her to step back because the guy behind her had moved up, almost in the spot she should have been in.

With everything else going on, it wasn’t worth being too bothered by it. I saw a report out of New York City of the number a calls the police are getting for people violating social distance rules and people are obviously very bothered by it. The number of calls were well over 1000 and I wonder what people expect the police to do.

I normally don’t report on news out of Canada, but this story caught my eye because it deals with police response to social distance calls – ‘Crackdown on coronavirus rule breakers could have consequences.

Community News Coronavirus Opinion

Governor Wolf just became aware of minority COVID-19 issues in Pennsylvania

March 23 there were 2 COVID-19 cases in Chester and the mayor said he intended to request testing in Chester.

We learned at the last city council meeting on April 21 that the city still does not have a testing sight.

Today, we’re at 175 cases, and we learn from the Delaware County Daily Timesthe Governor’s new chief concern is minority communities. 

Coronavirus Criminal Justice Submission

COVID Crisis Linked to Decline in Youth Detention

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A new survey shows that as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, the number of young people being held in juvenile detention dramatically decreased. 

Congregate settings such as juvenile detention facilities can rapidly spread coronavirus infections to the youths, the staff and the community at large. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation survey found the juvenile detention population across 30 states declined 24% in March, as much as the seven years from 2010 to 2017.