The Coronavirus has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The virus, which spread through China earlier this year has infected more than 120,000 people and caused more than 4,000 deaths so far. The number is only rising. When this happens, disinformation spreads faster than the disease. What’s critical is that we are all informed about what the hell is going on.
As all of the news and information about the virus spreads, we have inundated with rumors and myths about Black people. There are persistent memes and comments that Black people are immune to the virus. There are plenty of instances of people asserting that this is something we don’t have to worry about.
So we’re going to get down to the bottom of this.
You need to know all the facts about the virus and Black people. With that said, here are all the myths busted and facts about the Coronavirus and Black people.
To make sure you pay attention, we’ve put pictures of fine a$$ Black people so you can click through and pay some damn attention.
We’re not sure if this is where it started but this comment a doctor on IG went viral: “I just got off the phone with the CDC. They have verified that melanin is immune to the coronavirus…so basically the more chocolate the skin, the less likely it is you’ll catch it. I’m just the messenger.”
There isn’t any verification of this anywhere, but it has spread across the internet like wildfire.
This tweet has 50K retweets. Clearly it was a joke, but the sentiment is real: wouldn’t it be amazing if Black folks caught a break for once? Whatever the case, people have absolutely run with it and found as many justifications as humanly possible.
There is of course this map that is going around, highlighting the cases of Coronavirus being spread around the world. If you look, you’ll see that Africa has so few instances of the virus. Does this mean Black people are immune as so many of us would like to believe? Maybe there is another reason.
This has all brought up the important question we need to have answered: are the cases in Africa just being underreported? Maybe this has nothing to do with actual immunities. Maybe it’s about resources to testing and how few people have access to the tests. Because, you know, racism.
The fact is: there are 11 countries in Africa with Coronavirus cases and more than 100 cases. So this isn’t some disease that is skipping Africa. Instead, what we know about Africa should inform us that we may be looking at underreported cases.
Algeria — 20
Burkina Faso — 2
Cameroon — 2
Democratic Republic of Congo –1
Egypt — 59 (includes 1 death)
Morocco — 3 (includes 1 death)
Nigeria — 2
Senegal — 4
South Africa — 13
Tunisia — 5
Togo — 1
Dr. Jen Caudle has given us the breakdown here: “I literally was in the beauty shop just yesterday. I’m not even kidding and I overheard this woman talking to another woman and she said something like: ‘Did you hear? I heard black people can’t get coronavirus,’…She was literally having a conversation with another woman about this. Guys, I’m black. Many of you might be black. There is no evidence to say that black people cannot get coronavirus. This is a myth. Anyone can get coronavirus.”
So what do you need to know? You need to know that you need to keep washing your damn hands. You need to stay out of public places with large gatherings. You need to tell the doctor as SOON as you get a cough and a fever. You need to adhere all the self-quarantining strategies to keep you and anyone who comes in contact with you safe.