COVID-19 Reinforces Racial Health Disparities, Abrams Says

Social Welfare Chair Laura Abrams was featured as a guest on the COVID-19 Heroes podcast discussing racial and ethnic health disparities during the pandemic. She explained that while some social workers whose services have been deemed essential are still being asked to come to work, many areas of social work have been moved online, such as mental health services that are now being provided through video platforms like Zoom. However, many clients don’t have access to the technologies that might facilitate an online relationship, and many social workers have found that the interactions feel more limited and less connected when conducted virtually. Abrams explained that “what started as an equal-opportunity disease has quickly become racialized,” with African American people dying at a higher rate than other demographics. “COVID-19 has revealed underlying health disparities that we can’t ignore anymore,” Abrams said.

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