Working to Die? How Black Women Health Care Workers Survive A Pandemic

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What remains largely absent from discussions about “health care heroes” and COVID-19 are the structural constraints that many Black women navigate as they give care while fighting to survive illness and inequalities. Nurses—like those above in Oakland—are concerned about the health care industry’s inability to protect nurses and health care workers properly. (National Nurses United)

Rhonda Blake, a 32-year-old Black Caribbean woman, stays motivated yet worried as she looks at the concerned faces of her clients at a local nursing facility in Staten Island. Rhonda has lost four patients in the last two days— all of whom were exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus pandemic.

Like Rhonda, Isabel Marybeth, a 48-year-old African American woman, is at the forefront of providing medical and support services. Isabel has worked as a home-health aide in New York City for two…

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