Racialized communities, those with lower economic status more affected by COVID-19 crisis: survey
Published Friday, August 14, 2020 1:30PM PDT
The global health crisis has impacted everyone in one way or another, but a new survey shows the challenges posed by the pandemic have not been shared equally among British Columbians.
VANCOUVER -- The global health crisis has impacted everyone in one way or another, but a new survey shows the challenges posed by the pandemic have not been shared equally among British Columbians.
B.C.'s top doctor shared some insight Thursday on the results of the provincial coronavirus survey, in which she said people in racialized communities or who have a lower economic status have been hit the hardest by the ongoing pandemic.
"There was a differential impact on racialized populations in British Columbia," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. "Not a surprise to us, but it is something that we need to pay attention to."
More than 394,000 British Columbians took part in the survey, which was conducted to measure the province's response to the pandemic and the impact the virus has had on the population as a whole.
Dr. Henry said the data shows both racialized and low income residents are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The survey shows Latin American, West Asian and Black respondents were the most likely to report not working due to the virus. While West Asian, Latin American and South Asian respondents were among the most likely to report difficultly in meeting various financial needs.
But according to the survey, ethnicity also seems to have played a role in an individual's access to health care.
Japanese, Korean, multi-ethnic and South Asian respondents were found to be the most likely groups to report having difficulty accessing health care.
Dr. Henry said a positive sign of the survey showed that Latin American, Southeast Asian and Black respondents were more likely to report an increased connection to family amid the pandemic.
But she said she's concerned about another finding, saying white respondents were "more likely to report things like increased alcohol consumption."
Individuals with an income of less than $60,000 per year also had the most difficulty meeting their financial needs, according to the survey.
"We now have to look at how can we support communities across B.C. to move on to recover from that and to build back stronger and more resilient,” said Dr. Henry.