You may ask, why a series on how Covid-19 has changed Black America, and more specifically, why now? The truth is, there are things most of us do not know about COVID-19, but we damn well should. For instance, did you know Covid has changed the way Black people attend church, the way we praise and the way we bury our dead—and that these changes may likely be in existence forever? Did you know the virus might have even altered some of our bodies and minds—again—forever?
But also, did you know African-Americans are not nearly as hesitant about getting vaccinated as some pundits would have you think?
A month ago, I talked to a well-known Black doctor about how Covid has changed our lives—particularly Black lives. “If you adjust for age,” she told me, “Black people have a 67 percent higher mortality rate associated with Covid.”
She also said that when the CDC decided to give in and tell us that we don’t need to wear masks anymore, as well as shortened quarantine time, it hurt Black people during a period when our infections were going down. “They basically said, ‘Y’all are on your own,’” the doctor told me.
To be frank, the conversation the doctor and I had was a bit...scary. She said there are things we as Black people need to know, things they are not telling us, and most of these things are not pretty. But here at The Root, we believe Black people should constantly stay updated and informed. If we know the facts about Covid, we can set up ourselves, our families and our communities for a much better future.
Even if you’ve never had the virus, it has changed you. In fact, the pandemic has changed every single one of us, as a race and a culture, both psychologically and physically. It’s taken a lot from us and some even say it’s made us weaker. But here at The Root, we don’t believe that. What we do know is that what happened to us and what we’ve learned from it can only make us stronger. But that’s only if we have the right information.
As we all know, factual information is power. And that, my friend, is what we plan to give you over the course of the next few months: information you may not have known, but you will now know. We have posed important questions to doctors of color from all over the country, even the White House; we have traveled throughout our communities and visited our churches in order to dissect how our lives have changed. We have gathered the tips and advice you need and we will share with you these stories so that we never forget this era or make the same mistakes again.
—Tatsha Robertson, Deputy Editor at The Root