This Time Must Be Different: Disparities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo | August 4, 2020

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is the inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. She co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital that focuses on actionable research to increase health equity and reduce health disparities in at risk communities.

In ACP Journals, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo shares the deep disparities in COVID-19 infection and death rates among minority communities – and how things have not changed since the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The causes of these disparities are similar between pandemics, she explains: “Minority communities are more likely to be exposed to the virus because they are overrepresented in the low-wage, essential workforce at the front lines, including low-wage health care workers who often move between clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes to make a living, thereby magnifying their risk.”

Learn more from Kirsten about how to learn from past pandemics and ensure this time is different in the full journal article.