Toni Vazquez of G-Health Enterprises issues timely call to “Infect people with knowledge” in the wake of news that Zip Code 14215 has the highest COVID-19 Rate in Buffalo. Although the community is paying attention to the coronavirus threat WE MUST DO MORE!
By Staff Reporter
There are positive signs throughout the African American community that residents are taking the coronavirus seriously. Folks are wearing their masks, their gloves and practicing social distancing and other guidelines to reduce its spread.
However recent reports that COVID-19 affects African Americans disproportionately around the country is alarming. Buffalo apparently is no exception.
It’s been confirmed that the 2015 and 2011 zip codes now have highest COVID-19 rates In the City of Buffalo.
Mrs. Toni Vazquez of G-Health Enterprises, offered a novel way to take the battle to another level during last Saturday’s “Buffalo On fire” community talk show on WUFO 96.5FM radio.
“Let’s infect people with knowledge” she declared, “.…with words, texts phone calls or instagram or whatever medium young people (especially) are using these days. Let me infect 3 people with my knowledge who are out there in the streets doing things they should not be doing … interacting the way they should not be interacting out of ignorance because they just don’t know that they are ultimately killing their brother or sistrer … unknowingly killing their grandmother or grandfather…let us infect people with knowledge!”
“Black and brown people live and breathe and understand thru testimony,” she continued. “When I tell my daughter’s story – they get it – when Raul tells the story they get it – and there’s a happy ending because Nadia is still with us, but there are a ton of people who are not…young people, old people, all walks of life are losing their lives because of this disease.”
Toni Vazquez is the wife of Raul Vazquez, M.D., founder of G-Enterprises. Their daughter Nadia tested positive for COVID-19.
“We also have to take hold of our own health….” she encouraged. “We have to do better to live longer. We have to do what we can right now AND NOT WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR US !”
“My job today is to infect 3 people with some knowledge , and for them to go out and infect 3 other people with knowledge – and tell them that this is real and we don’t want it to be any more detrimental to our community than it has already been!”
On Tuesday April N.M. Baskin, Chairwoman, Erie County Legislator District 2, made public several information slides that will appear on her social media. They are COVID-19 facts specific to the Black community that note all facts and phone numbers to help the public get through this crisis.
“As of Sunday, six out of 27 COVID-19 deaths in Erie County were Black residents. This equates to 22% of the deaths. Erie County’s population is 14% African American,” stated Legislator Basin. “As the Erie County Legislator representing zip codes 14215 and 14211, which are two of the hardest-hit COVID-19 zip codes in Buffalo and our county, I have made it my top priority to address the positive cases in these zip codes.”
She continued: “At the same time, we have to admit a harsh reality. The factors which determine one’s ability to survive this disease are the same factors we know disproportionately affect our poor, inner city communities of color. 14215 is the tenth-poorest zip code in Erie County. The East Side suffers chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease at higher rates than other areas of the city. Given that 37% of Buffalo residents are African-Americans, we are at a greater risk during this pandemic, especially those persons who are on dialysis. Therefore, the death rates from COVID-19 are likely to be higher here than in the rest of the county.”
Chairwoman Baskin pointed out that in addition, given the poverty rate of 14215, residents who have illnesses due to a lack of health care options are more likely to be hospitalized and tested for COVID-19.
•14215 has a poverty rate of 26% – one of the highest in the county.
•80% of residents in 14215 are African American.
•The people living in 14215 suffer from chronic illness at a greater rate than their counterparts. Pre-existing health concerns will vastly impact and increase both the likelihood of contracting the COVID-19 virus and having a greater negative impact.
“Access to preventive care and high-quality food are lacking in these areas. I am committed now more than ever to ensuring that our residents in these zip codes receive not only the care they need in the crisis but also the high-quality care they need in the future for their underlying health conditions.”
“I have asked representatives from the Erie County Department of Health to attend a special meeting of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, April 9th at 11 a.m. to meet with Health Department representatives about COVID-19,” she concluded. “ I will be receiving an update on the status of the County’s response to this pandemic, and will ask for a plan to respond to the needs of the residents of communities who are or will suffer at a higher rate during this crisis.”
DOING THE RIGHT THING: Photo Above : The folks pictured above are taking the Coronavirus seriously. Althoughmany in the community are paying attention WE MUST DO MORE! Challenger Photos