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Are Black Children More Vulnerable to Covid-19? Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Feb 28th, 2022

<Student’s Name>Timeline for Paper #
Year (e.g. 2020) Month (numeric XX) Day (numeric XX) Headline (brief headline) Descriptive text Source (full citation and URL) Media credit (if you find a picture accompanying this event, please paste the URL here)
2020 08 14 The ability of children to spread COVID-19 is unclear, and additional data should be collected. According to the report for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is unclear whether children may transmit the coronavirus as effectively as adults. However, recent evidence suggests that children may have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx in comparison with adults. That is why they may spread the virus in households and other settings. Healthcare Workers, research report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Web.
2020 10 02 School-aged children are more vulnerable to COVID-19 in comparison with younger children. In addition, Black and Hispanic children are more vulnerable to the virus in comparison with White peers. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though the majority of schools in the United States currently conduct classes virtually, the COVID-19 incidence among adolescents is approximately double in comparison with younger children. In addition, underlying conditions, Black race, and Hispanic ethnicity are more commonly reported among hospitalized children. In addition,
acute COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) disproportionately affect children of color as well.
Leeb, Rebecca T., Sandy Price, Sarah Sliwa, Anne Kimball, Leigh Szucs, Elise Caruso, Shana Godfred-Cato, and Matthew Lozier, “,” research report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. Web.
2020 12 01 New research showed that young people may be the disease’s significant spreaders. According to the recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, since schools in the United States started to conduct in-person classes this fall, the number of COVID-19 cases among children has substantially increased. Roper, Willem, “Rate of COVID Infection in U.S. Children Rising,” research report, Statista, December 1, 2020. Web.
2020 12 03 In general, COVID-19-associated hospitalization, severe symptoms, and death are uncommon in children. However, more data related to the long-term impact of the coronavirus on infected children should be urgently collected. According to the state-level data report of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 1.4 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic’s onset. At the same time, children were 1.1%-3.0% of total reported hospitalizations, and 0.3%-4.9% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization. In addition, only 0.00%-0.11% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death. However, the impact of the disease on the physical and mental health of infected children over the long term should be evaluated in the future. American Academy of Pediatrics, research report, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020. Web.

The global spread of COVID-19 has a highly negative impact on people all over the world and in the United States in particular. The coronavirus pandemic has already altered people’s lives in the country in multiple ways. The coronavirus severely infects citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, education, and place of living causing shortness of breath, cough, fever, loss of taste and smell, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, and more serious complications that include pneumonia, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, bronchitis, and multi-organ failure (Sanyaolu et al. 2020). At the same time, according to multiple reports and studies, Black citizens are affected by COVID-19 at disproportionally high rates due to existing inequalities in the health system that substantially limit these people’s access to appropriate health care and treatment (Eligon et al. 2020). In general, senior people and people with multiple comorbidities, such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, are regarded as the most vulnerable to a new severe acute respiratory syndrome.

In the present day, COVID-19 is defined as the nation’s third leading cause of death, however, surprisingly, it is almost non-life-threatening for the youngest members of society (Bernstein 2020). As a matter of fact, since the pandemic’s start, more than a million children and young people under eighteen have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (Fox & LaMotte 2020). North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Montana, Missouri, and Kentucky are states where the most substantive increases were reported (Edwards 2020). In addition, because the majority of children have few symptoms or do not have any symptoms at all, a considerable number of coronavirus cases may remain undetected.

At the same time, even though the COVID-19 death toll in the United States has already moved beyond 200,000, data currently shows that only approximately 100 children and teenagers died from this disease (Bernstein 2020). In addition, according to statistics of the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, eighteen American states had not recorded a single fatal case among people under the age of twenty (Bernstein 2020). These remarkable numbers attract the particular attention of researchers and clinicians as children are traditionally more vulnerable to infectious and respiratory diseases in comparison with adults. However, while flu that has similar symptoms killed approximately 24,000 – 62,000 people last winter, COVID-19 claimed the lives of only 188 people aged up to seventeen years (Bernstein 2020).

There are several theories related to the protection of children against the coronavirus that are currently being explored by scientists. The main idea implies the absence of prominent expression or different shapes of ACE2 receptors in human cells responsible for the binding of the viral particles (Belluck 2020). That is why, it may be difficult for the virus to enter cells, replicate, and subsequently spread throughout the human body. According to another theory, children’s immune systems have a less aggressive and damaging response to the virus in comparison with adult immune systems. Nevertheless, experts admit that even if children are generally spared by the pandemic due to particular natural protection, their role in the transmission of the virus remains unclear.

According to the report prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contrary to adults, children and adolescents frequently do not have shortness of breathing, fever, cough, and other symptoms of COVID-19. That is why those infected young people who stay undetected may spread the coronavirus to others, their families, neighborhoods, and communities (Belluck 2020). A former professor at Harvard Medical School, William Haseltine, mentioned that small children under the age of five may be highly contagious for other people (Christensen et al. 2020). In addition, children may not only increase the number of infected peers but cause deaths among other children with autoimmune disorders and other additional risk factors, as well (Christensen et al. 2020). Nevertheless, the conclusion concerning the role of young people in spreading the coronavirus was not made (Bernstein 2020). That is why educators currently struggle to decide whether to reopen child-care centers and schools or wait for the situation’s stabilization.

As previously mentioned, in comparison with White citizens, Black people are more vulnerable to Covid-19 due to the limited access to health care and the inability to stay both isolated and financially stable during the pandemic. At the same time, recent federal statistics that echo the adults’ disproportionate death rates showed that Black, American Indian, and Hispanic children are more affected by the coronavirus than their White peers, and 75% of young people who died from COVID-19 are minorities (Wan 2020). Children of color are infected and hospitalized at higher rates, and the overwhelming majority of them subsequently develop a severe life-threatening complication, such as MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome (Rabin 2020). This disease may be characterized by heart problems, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal and neck pain, rash, extreme tiredness, and bloodshot eyes (Stobbe 2020). According to John Williams, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, this situation demonstrates the existence of deep racial disparities in the society that have a considerable impact not only on adults but on children and adolescents as well, and the government should pay particular attention to this issue (Wan 2020).

In addition, the reasons for Black children’s high vulnerability and Black adults’ high vulnerability to COVID-19 are similar – the existence of comorbidities. Almost all minority children who died from the virus had at least one underlying health condition, and obesity and asthma were the most frequent (Wan 2020). In addition, it is obvious that the vulnerability of parents directly affects their children. For instance, Black people frequently cannot afford to stay at home and work distantly as they hold a highly disproportionate share of municipal, retail, and service jobs that presuppose direct involvement (Higgins-Dunn et al. 2020). In addition, as health care providers, Black citizens are overrepresented in hospitals where their risk of infection increases (Green & Moore, 2020). When Black people with COVID-19 come home, they may transmit the disease to their family members. That is why, as Black people are affected by the coronavirus at disproportionately high rates, their children and other young members of Black communities will be unequally affected by the disease, as well.

At the same time, the impact of COVID-19 on children has already become a political issue as President Donald Trump and other administration officials have forced schools and kindergartens to re-open to allow parents to work and improve the country’s economic conditions (Stobbe 2020). Moreover, they spread misinformation concerning the impact of COVID-19 on children and state that the number of children who died from the disease is insignificant and young people’s symptoms are generally mild (Stobbe 2020). However, according to Carrie Henning-Smith, a researcher at the University of Minnesota who focuses on health disparities, almost a million infected children and adolescents should be considered, they are not immune, and they suffer from COVID-19 and its outcomes as well (Stobbe 2020). In addition, the whole system of health care has demonstrated its inefficiency by limiting access to treatment not only for Black adults but for Black children as well.

References

Belluck, Pam. 2020. “U.S. Children with Coronavirus Are Less Hard Hit Than Adults, First Data Shows.” The New York Times. Web.

Bernstein, Lenny. 2020. “Child Deaths Tied to Covid-19 Remain Remarkably Low, Months into U.S. Pandemic.” The Washington Post. Web.

Christensen, Jen, Lauren Mascarenhas, Christina Maxouris, and Sandee LaMotte. 2020. CNN Health. Web.

Edwards, Erika. 2020. NBC News. Web.

Eligon, John, Audra D. S. Burch, Dionne Searcey, and Richard A. Oppel Jr. 2020. “Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States.” The New York Times. Web.

Fox, Maggie, and Sandee LaMotte. 2020. CNN Health. Web.

Green, Jeff, and Donald Moore. 2020. “Covid-19 Is Hurting Black Americans More in Almost Every Way.” Bloomberg. Web.

Higgins-Dunn, Noah, Will Feuer, Berkeley Lovelace Jr., and Jasmine Kim. 2020. CNBC. Web.

Rabin, Roni Caryn. 2020. “Why the Coronavirus More Often Strikes Children of Color.” The New York Times. Web.

Sanyaolu, Adekunle, Chuku Okorie, Aleksandra Marinkovic, Risha Patidar, Kokab Younis, Priyank Desai, Zaheeda Hosein, Inderbir Padda et al. 2020. “Comorbidity and its Impact on Patients with COVID-19.” SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine 2: 1069–1076. Web.

Stobbe, Mike. 2020. USA Today. Web.

Wan, William. 2020. “Coronavirus Kills Far More Hispanic and Black Children than White Youths, CDC Study Finds.” The Washington Post. Web.

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