To have elderly Black parents working in health care services with comorbidities that have made the Black community susceptible to and overrepresented in COVID-19 death is to have an unspoken heaviness in your mind and heart daily. You pray fervently for their protection. You hug a little tighter. You make sure they know they are loved the second they step out the door.
In the past year, the convergence of violent police encounters and the burden of COVID-19 deaths has been especially salient for the Black community. The widespread publicization of these recent events, often referred to as viral Black death, serves as fuel for psychological trauma in a community that is already 16% more likely to report mental health problems than the general population.1,2
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Akerele O, McCall M, Aragam G. Healing Ethno-Racial Trauma in the Black Community: Cultural Humility as a Driver of Innovation. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 21, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0537
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