covid-19

Two women wearing protective masks walking at crosswalk on 16th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Opinion: COVID-19 Shows Us Why California Must Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Long-standing racist policies and practices have determined where and how Californians live, work, receive health care, attend schools and more. For Black Californians, Latinx Californians, and other Californians of color these racist policies block opportunities to be healthy.

When the pandemic started, it became abundantly clear that the virus was disproportionately harming communities of color, who are at increased risk of severe illness due to long-standing inequities.

A nurse gives a COVID-19 vaccination at The Forum in Los Angeles in January.

Opinion: After COVID-19, Here’s How We Can Make Sure Everyone Can Heal

We are going to need a “healing surge” that will match our vaccine surge — and health equity must guide how we allocate those resources.

We have learned the lesson in this crisis that public health is critical to our individual health — we all do better when we protect those who are most vulnerable. We also understand that mental health is not just an individual condition but a collective challenge in communities that were already stressed by racist policing, economic inequality and deportation threats.

Sad teenager

Opinion: I’m a Doctor. The Kids I’m Seeing Need to Be Back in School

With the ongoing closures of schools, playgrounds, sports and other extracurriculars, children are missing out on large pieces of their development.

I’m seeing a spike in children with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations in my practice. The current state of children’s mental health is concerning not only for the near future, but also for the long-term effects it may have on this generation and society as a whole.

Analysis: We Can Build an Equitable Health Workforce. Here’s How

California’s leaders must build a diverse and culturally competent health workforce. This starts with making investments in the communities that are most vulnerable and medically underserved.

Policymakers should work to expand health career pipeline programs for underrepresented students. Programs such as Health Career Connection have driven talented students of color into health care and public health careers for years. Full disclosure: I’m an alum.

Dr. Adam Dougherty receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Sutter Medical Center.

Opinion: Vaccines Are Coming. What Can We Do Until Then?

I felt relief as I received my shot. After months of relentless pandemic care on the front line, we have finally received a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 that will help California return to some normalcy over the coming months.

I trust these vaccines and urge the community to listen to the advice of health experts. When we receive the vaccine, we don’t just do it for ourselves, we do it to protect our loved ones and others who are at higher risk. Getting vaccinated is an act of compassion that will help us to save lives and stop the spread.

Online Consultation with their Doctor

Opinion: As Telehealth Expands, We Must Include Diverse Communities

The rise in telehealth has tremendous potential to improve the health of those who have historically lacked access to medical care. Those living medically underserved areas can use telehealth to more easily connect to specialists and manage conditions from home.

But this rapid deployment of technology has not fully accounted for the needs of Black and indigenous Californians, or other people of color, including those with limited English proficiency or disabilities.

Parents Caring for Children with Disabilities Have Some Advice

After almost 10 months of staying home, some of these families have settled into the new reality and are receiving better support. Some have found creative ways to adapt. But others are still struggling to get their children the help they need.

How well families are doing depends a lot on their resources, both relational and financial. To help families that are struggling, lawmakers need to provide greater financial support such as stimulus payments, food subsidies and rental relief, advocates said.

Depressed kid during epidemic quarantine

Analysis: Is the Pandemic an Adverse Childhood Experience?

When I started my pediatric training, I expected to see kids with “typical” complaints, such as asthma attacks, ear infections, lacerations or maybe a COVID-19 case. Instead our emergency department was flooded with children and teens who suffered from anxiety, suicide attempts, and suspected physical or sexual abuse.

At least 10 times a day, the best care for my patients was for them to see a psychiatrist or a social worker.

Amid Pandemic, Young Kids With Special Needs Missing Out On Services

As COVID-19 disrupts the transition from early intervention to school, children are going without occupational, physical and speech therapies and other services they’re entitled to.

The danger, advocates for children with special needs said, is that these kids are missing out on interventions at a critical moment in their lives. Since mid-March, California’s complex special needs care system has struggled to move children from one program to another, parents and advocates said.

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