On visualizing disparities

A few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health began releasing municipal and zip code-level data on COVID vaccination, including variables for age group, race/ethnicity, and sex. As we work to promote equitable access to the vaccine, these data are so important to help us identify disparities, figure out what might be causing them, and take… Continue reading On visualizing disparities

On disproportionate impact

There are enormous equity issues involved in COVID-19 – in exposures, outcomes (including non-COVID health and mental health), social and economic implications, and resource allocation. It matters how we construct the indicators we use to monitor performance, if we want to be able to proactively address emerging inequities. One resource I have appreciated is the… Continue reading On disproportionate impact

On vaccines, and their limits

The health system where I work has administered over 11,000 vaccine doses to staff and patients. I feel such relief and gratitude, alongside frustration and grief. Vaccination is a key public health strategy. mRNA technology is a lifesaving advancement. Community health systems like ours are reaching people where they are, creating community-based processes that reduce… Continue reading On vaccines, and their limits

On dysfunction and hope

The quotes below are from people applying to the Somerville Cares Fund, an emergency relief fund established in April to stem the economic impacts of COVID-19 on local residents. To date, the fund has raised and distributed over $500,000, and the need has been overwhelming – an interim report (released in late June) shared that… Continue reading On dysfunction and hope

On schools, and priorities

Teachers, parents of school-age kids, students, school staff… I am feeling for you so much. Our national failure to get this pandemic under control is giving you no good options. And, again, the health, developmental, and economic risks associated with any option are likely to fall disproportionately on students of color and on families, teachers,… Continue reading On schools, and priorities

On eviction

In the middle of a pandemic and mass unemployment, no one should be forced out of their home because they cannot pay the rent or mortgage. It is absurd and dangerous from a public health and equity perspective. We already know that the burden of eviction falls disproportionately on women and people of color, that… Continue reading On eviction

On violence and racism

Six days ago, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. To bear witness to the pain and grief of this moment is to know that injustice built over time and across every angle of life is too much for a heart and mind to hold. The words of Brittany Packnett Cunningham caught… Continue reading On violence and racism

On vulnerability, illuminated in a pandemic

Seven weeks out from what would have been graduation, leaving St. Louis more abruptly than I ever envisioned, I’m reminded in a nightmarish way of why I chose public health and social work. The distribution of power and resources in society shapes our individual and collective health, and these connections hold our reality in dynamic… Continue reading On vulnerability, illuminated in a pandemic