Chicago Sun-Times | For young people of color, the coronavirus is a triple whammy along with poverty and violence By Laura Washington

At a virtual town hall, youth discussed the emotional toll of COVID-19 on communities that have suffered from years of economic and social neglect.

By Laura Washington  Apr 11, 2020, 5:00am CDT

For decades, people of color have lived at the tip of the sword of health disparities.

Now in Chicago, residents of the city’s South and West sides are catching and dying of COVID-19 at higher rates.

As of last week, 72% of those who have died of COVID-19 in Chicago were black, and more than half of those who had tested positive are black.

The daily stresses of surviving are elevated by COVID-19. Its emotional toll can be as dangerous as the disease. You can’t save your body without a sound mind.

On Thursday, young Chicagoans gathered for a virtual town hall to dissect the triple whammy of violence, poverty and morbidity that plagues their communities. It’s a plague they have been living with far beyond their years.

The Zoom video conference of 52 youth leaders, social workers and elected officials was hosted by Communities United and VOYCE, grass-roots organizations that focus on education and racial justice.

They shared how their families have suffered from “generations” of disinvestment in health care, jobs and economic development, and safety.

“These past couple of weeks, I have been thinking a lot of my father,” said D’Angelo Moore, 18. “Because I lost him in 2015 from gun violence.

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