by Betty Jean Grant
It has been exactly one year since the Coronavirus made its way from China to Italy, sneaked its way aboard an airplane to America and announced itself a bona fide pandemic to an unsuspecting and ill prepared nation.
This specific Coronavirus, known as Covid 19, has killed over 500,000 Americans to date. That is almost 1/4 of all the deaths in the world even though we are less than 1/30 of the world’s population. In the African American and Latinx ethnic groups, the number of deaths is even more devastating, with death among these two groups 8-9 times higher than among Caucasians.
Just as the number of fatalities in the minority community was escalating, the availability of Covid 19 testing, PPEs, contact tracers and, of course, the vaccine were seriously underrepresented on the east and lower west sides of Buffalo. But this unequal and disparable allocation of PPEs and vaccines was seen in Black and Brown communities all across this nation.
Over the past few weeks, this disparity has been somehow lessened by the health officials in NYS designating ten zip codes in the most impoverished areas of the City of Buffalo as a special zone where residents living in those specific zip codes would be vaccinated first. This sorely needed and most unusual approach to bring parity to an underserved community is far from perfect but it goes a long way toward ensuring that politicians and leaders that hand out resources and vaccines are, indeed, colorblind.
Covid 19 vaccines continue to be available to those 65 years old or older; or citizens of any age who have serious medical conditions, work in schools, stores, law enforcement or restaurants.
The Covid 19 vaccination site on the eastside is the Delavan Grider Community Center, 877 East Delavan Ave.
Please call 1-833-697-4829 to schedule an appointment.