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Keywords

health disparities; health care inequalities; public health; Latinx; Latinos; Hispanics; COVID-19; Coronavirus Disease 2019; SARS-COV-2 infection; health equity

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Interprofessional Education | Other Public Health | Patient Safety | Public Health Education and Promotion

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the existing health and social disparities that affect minority groups in the United States (US), including the Latinx community. This situation has been reflected in many aspects of health, including increased morbi-mortality and reduced adherence to medical and scientific recommendations. Limited access to health care, financial challenges, migrant status, and health literacy, or lack thereof, have all hampered the Latinx community's ability to seek aid quickly and to be tested or treated effectively for this disease. This pandemic has shown that the Latinx community's socioeconomic status correlates with greater mortality rates when compared to other ethnic groups, which runs counter to historical norms. Furthermore, morbi-mortality in Latinx people has been disproportionately greater. Beyond the systematic barriers that the Latinx community has had to face to access care during the pandemic, there were also perception barriers that increased the gap and further complicated the situation. Latinxs were more likely to be exposed due to a decreased compliance with physical distancing. When it was suggested to avoid crowds, many people started using delivery services; however, many Latinxs found the cost and requirements of reliable internet to be a barrier to using these services. Currently, COVID vaccines are broadly available in the US but there has been skepticism from marginalized communities, including the Latinx population, about getting vaccinated. Integrating this population into a welcoming healthcare system, safeguarding their immigration and work status, providing more accessible vaccination locations, and promoting health equality and education would all assist to lessen the impact of this illness on the Latinx community.

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