June 20, 2021

(Photo Source: CBC.ca)


By Jada (Grade 8 Student from Earnscliffe Senior Public School)

Your Uncle, Mother, Father and Grandma could be affected by the Covid-19 virus. Now let’s add a twist to it – what if your mother is a janitor, your father is black, your uncle is a refugee and your grandma is in a nursing home? Ethnic groups make up more than 60% of Covid-19 cases in Brampton, but the real mystery is why your job, race and or occupation have a role to play? 

At least half of the people I surveyed said that they are not sure because there is not a lot of enough information related to this topic. The other half of the people I surveyed said yes, they do think that people of colour are the ones who are highly impacted by Covid-19.

According to data shared on Peel Public Health’s website, visible minorities made up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases compared to their respective share of Peel’s population. Similar data were reported by the City of Toronto as illustrated below.

Source: Toronto Public Health

Peel Public Health says white people accounted for just 23 per cent of cases, even though they make up 37 per cent of the population. South Asian residents made up 45 per cent of cases despite accounting for just 32 per cent of the population.”

In agreement is Kwame Mckenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, who stated on Cbc.ca, that the pandemic has magnified existing issues in marginalized communities. “Some people thought that COVID would be the great equalizer,” McKenzie told CBC Toronto. “COVID-19 is not a great equalizer — it discriminates.”

Doesn’t this say a lot about “efforts” made to try and get people in the GTA vaccinated? These are questions we should ask ourselves.  If the government were trying so hard to reach this goal, why are they not looking at the data and doing their own research? Why does a middle school student have to do it for them? We should not be surprised by the events that are happening.

Aren’t blacks and People Of Color always the “issue”, and shouldn’t we all have known that racial minorities were going to be held back because privilege=power and not all blacks and People Of Color have power or privilege and that there are people in our own government that have their own biases, PRIVILEGE and POWER? 

In conclusion, what are we going to do as a community to help the problem?

Are you talking to your elected wards and city councillors about concerns that you are a person of colour or being black and getting the Covid-19 vaccine? Or having discussions about why does Covid-19 affect me as a black person, me as a janitor, me as a person of colour or me who has a lowering paying job? Should you instead as a Councillor, Mayor, and/or Premier be listening to the people and understanding the experiences that come from their walk of life and disrupt your own biases in the process?

If your answer is yes, these are some sources you might be interested in: Quickbite News , Cbc.ca, epi.org, global.news, healthing.ca. If your answer was no, why are not you not interested? Are you simply not interested because this problem specifically does not affect you? Discrimination happens everywhere and even if it does not affect you directly it can happen to your friends and family. 

Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Ask the right questions, and the answers will always reveal themselves.”