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Stressed And Overworked Female Doctor Wearing Scrubs Sitting On Floor In Hospital Corridor

Opinion: COVID-19 is Affecting Doctors’ Relationships

In normal times, medical training is challenging and stressful. The amount of time away from loved ones can bring giants to their knees. Add in the fears and uncertainties of a pandemic, I’m amazed that anyone, and any relationships, are surviving.

My heart goes out to the families, such as many of my patients at Harbor-UCLA, who are struggling to make ends meet, while also navigating all of their responsibilities and relationships, during the pandemic.

Black mother embraces little preschool daughter sitting on couch together at home.

Opinion: We Need a Safety Net for Children Experiencing Toxic Stress

COVID-19 is decimating our outdated safety net, and the vital links between families and their local economic, health and social supports.

The pandemic has made “underlying conditions” the new code phrase for the social and health inequities disproportionately impacting black and brown communities.

Shelter-in-place policies are compounding the isolation, stress, misinformation and trauma that are common to many communities of color.

Woman in green shirt and protective gloves put delivered box with food products on wooden table in kitchen.

How Grocery Shopping Online Could Help Close Equity Gaps

Low-income families can’t easily shop for groceries online, contributing to COVID-19 disparities—but allowing them to use food stamps online could help. Food policy advocates are asking the state to provide online purchasing opportunity for pregnant women and families with young children who get benefits through WIC.

Health equity is a key reason why allowing WIC recipients to shop online is so critical. California has the largest WIC program in the U.S. and most recipients are people of color.

Oct 18, 2019 Berkeley / CA / USA - 'Black lives matter' slogan posted on the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse billboard in downtown Berkeley

Letter From the Editor: How Racism Affects Californians

The pandemic and protests have laid bare the depths of our nation’s disparities. Your race should not determine whether you live or die. It should not influence whether your doctor listens to you, or whether you can breathe clean air.

But—too often—it does.

In my own family, I’ve seen the results of racism and redlining play out over generations in Los Angeles, limiting where some family members could purchase homes, raise their children and retire.

Two seniors wearing masks sit on a bench near Venice beach in mid-April.

For Seniors, Another COVID-19 Hazard: Scammers

Advocates who work with seniors are bracing for a new wave of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already, California Senior Medicare Patrol, which helps Medicare beneficiaries avoid fraud, has received reports of several new scams. Fraudsters have visited residents in senior housing offering them “opportunities” for COVID-19 testing in exchange for their Medicare number. Con artists posing as Medicare officials have called seniors and promised them a (non-existent) COVID-19 vaccine.

A crowd of people wearing face masks in Los Angeles during COVID-19 face masks in Los Angeles

Opinion: The Pandemic Is Exposing How Fragile My Patients’ Lives Are

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on millions of Californians. This is especially true among low-income families, including my patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Most of our families barely get by in the best of times. How will they fare during a viral-induced economic downturn? The pandemic is exposing how fragile their lives are.

Doctor’s Notes: COVID-19 May Create Another Public Health Crisis

For years, public health programs have worked hard to make immunization equitable, shielding all children from preventable illnesses. If children fall behind in their vaccination schedule, immunity will begin to wane, and the likelihood of vaccine-preventable outbreaks will increase in the coming months.

If you haven’t heard from your pediatrician yet, call your medical home to ask how and when they plan to resume well visits and vaccinations.

At High Risk From Coronavirus, Undocumented Seniors Fear Seeking Medical Care

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, public health experts are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to fulfill a budget proposal that would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to undocumented seniors.

They argue that having thousands of uninsured elderly residents in the state puts these seniors and the broader public at risk. Many see it as a step toward a broader goal: extending coverage to all low-income, undocumented adults.

Opinion: Society Designed the Systems That Created COVID-19 Inequalities — We Can Redesign Them

Why is COVID-19 disproportionately taking the lives of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and low-income workers?

Community conditions too often undermine health and wellbeing for low-income people and people of color. To achieve a more equitable future, we need to change the policies that unevenly distribute health-promoting resources.

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