Norm T. Niner Course Introduction Assignment

Norm T. Niner Course Introduction Assignment

LBST 2214 Spring 2021

Leading Cause of Death

• Leading Cause of Death: COVID-19 was responsible for 370,871 deaths in 2020 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

• Brief Description: COVID-19 is a communicable disease that can cause a range of reactions from mild sickness to death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). It is spread through respiratory droplets in the air from an infected individual with the virus to a healthy individual (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). People can experience symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, headaches, or fatigue (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

Health Disparities

• Health Disparity 1: One health disparity for COVID-19 deaths is based on race. African American people experience 2.4 times the mortality rate compared to White people (ISDA, 2020).

• Health Disparity 2: Another health disparity for COVID-19 is based on geography. Counties across the United States that were within 25 miles of an airport had 1.5 times the mortality rate compared to counties that were further than 50 miles from an airport (Gaskin, Zare & Delamarte, 2020).

Health Disparity & SDOH (1)

• Health Disparity (from previous slide): African American people experience 2.4 times the mortality rate compared to White people (ISDA, 2020).

• Related SDOH: Social Gradient. According to Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) social and economic conditions have serious implications on health. African American people are more likely to be low wage frontline workers who face frequent exposure to COVID-19 (ISDA, 2020). In North Carolina, African American people represent 40.5% of service positions which is two times higher than the proportion of the general population (Pryor & Tomaskovic-Devy).

Health Disparity & SDOH (2)

• Health Disparity (from previous slide): African American people experience 2.4 times the mortality rate compared to White people (ISDA, 2020).

• Related SDOH: Social exclusion: Social exclusion, connected to poverty, plays a role in limiting access to health services (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003). The likelihood of African American people being uninsured is 1.5 times higher than that of white people (ISDA, 2020). Insurance increases healthcare seeking behavior that can help prevent underlying conditions associated with COVID-19 death (Robyn, 2012; Centers for Disease Control, 2020)

Proposed Solution

• Proposed Solution: Protections to ensure testing and vaccines remain affordable, available and accessible with special focus toward communities that have been disproportionately affected (ISDA, 2020). By distributing to frontline workers there are benefits in reducing the disproportionate mortality rate as well as limiting disease vectors.

• Making testing and vaccines affordable and accessible addresses the SDOH of Social Gradient, as this is related to socioeconomic status and type of employment. African American people are more likely to be low wage frontline workers who face frequent exposure to COVID-19 (ISDA, 2020), who otherwise may not be able to access testing and vaccines.

Proposed Solution & Bioethical Principle (1)

• Bioethical Principle 1: Justice refers to fairness (McCormick, n.a). According to McCormick (n.a) distributive justice refers to creating a fair system of distribution to a limited supply. applies to the proposed solution because ensuring equitable distribution of the COVID vaccine addresses the health disparities given. Because frontline workers face increased risk for contracting COVID-19, allocating resources to increase vaccination and testing in this population helps create fairness in risk distribution.

Proposed Solution & Bioethical Principle (2)

• Bioethical Principle 2: Beneficence is defined as a duty to maximize benefit to society (McCormick, n.a). Testing and vaccination is a limited resource. Allocating resources to higher risk communities not only benefits the specific population but has added benefit to society in reducing the vectors of disease caused by frontline work. This method of resource allocation is more effective than giving to low risk populations first.

References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Symptoms of Coronavirus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

Gaskin, D., Zare, H., & Delarmente, B. A. (2020). Geographic disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths: The role of transportation. Transport Policy, 102. 35-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2020.12.001

IDSA. (2020). COVID-19 and health disparities in the United States. https://www.idsociety.org/globalassets/idsa/public-health/covid- 19/covid19-health-disparities.pdf

McCormick,T. (n.a). Principles of Bioethics. University of Washington. https://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/ethics- medicine/bioethics-topics/articles/principles-bioethics

Pryor, C., Tomaskovic-Devy, D.. How COVID exposes healthcare deficits for black workers. University of Massachusetts. https://www.umass.edu/employmentequity/how-covid-exposes-healthcare-deficits-black-workers

Robyn, F. (2012). Health insurance and health-seeking behavior: Evidence from a randomized community-based insurance rollout in rural Burkina Faso. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 75(4), 595–603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.018

Wilkinson, R., Marmot, M., & Marmot, M. (2003). Social determinants of health : the solid facts (2nd ed.). WHO Regional Office for Europe

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Assignment for Norm T. Niner’s Course Introduction

Spring 2021 LBST 2214

The Most Common Cause of Death

• COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in 2020, accounting for 370,871 deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021)

• Short Description: COVID-19 is a communicable disease that can cause symptoms ranging from moderate illness to death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). It is transmitted from a virus-infected individual to a healthy individual via respiratory droplets in the air (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, headaches, and exhaustion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

Disparities in Health

• Health Disparity 1: There is one health disparity for COVID-19 deaths based on race.

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