Written by 2 Public Health Academy (PHA) interns based on interviews with their peers
We sought to find out how bad the pandemic has affected different communities by interviewing a variety of friends scattered around the cities of LA. As we gathered information regarding the coronavirus within different communities, we came across similar insights. We believe they are similar since most come from vulnerable communities where there are very limited resources.
When asked about the symptoms and ways to prevent coronavirus, our friends mentioned how wearing a mask and general hygiene/sanitation has so far kept them safe. All were able to list symptoms such as fever and fatigue and also noted that you could have no symptoms at all. Based on their responses, they are trying their best to avoid any activity that could lead to infection and they are masking, staying away from mass gatherings, limiting outings and simple hygiene like washing hands.
Youth seem to be aware of what's going on—despite limited supplies and support due to being from lower-income communities. However, what they report in their communities is less encouraging. They reported seeing people gathering at house parties, walking down the street without masks and generally acting as if there is no pandemic by not taking precautions.
As our peers mentioned, low-resourced communities often lack proper access to sanitation, health insurance, and even basic knowledge of the virus. No matter how hard one attempts to take the necessary precautions they still have high chances of contracting the disease if the community they live in has limited resources and those who make up the community aren’t aware or don’t take it seriously. Whereas they all felt that communities with much more support tend to be more aware and safer during the pandemic.
We agree with our peers that even though our communities stand a higher chance of infection, staying away from mass gatherings, limiting our outings, and taking basic precautions can keep us healthy even if others in our community don't do so. Taking these precautions seriously can lower the high percentage of infection rate within our communities.