Episode 126: Flour Power

40 minutes

Watch the video version here! https://youtu.be/p0FdkUhexBM

4/8/20--Almost a month has passed since Governor Charlie Baker announced a state of emergency, and state officials expect the coming days (April 10-April 20) to produce the peak of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.

As of Wednesday, confirmed cases in Massachusetts are up to 16,790, according to The Boston Globe. But the toll of coronavirus isn't hitting all demographics equally. Reports from cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit show that African Americans are experiencing disproportionate impacts from coronavirus. According to NBC, Chicago reported 70% of people who died from COVID-19 were black, though just 30% of their population is black. Similar disparities are appearing in Boston as well. Areas like Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, and East Boston that are home to large communities of color are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 than other neighborhoods in Boston. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is calling for demographic data on COVID-19 illnesses including racial data to address disparities in communities of color.

Meanwhile out in Western Massachusetts, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz has recovered from COVID-19. He pops into The Horse Race’s virtual session to talk about how his city is managing a response. He says that the federal response was sluggish, and state-level actions didn't quite meet the level of aggression he felt they ought to. As a result, Narkewicz says, localities are finding their own footing on how best to adapt.

Horse Race pollster extraordinaire Steve Koczela provides an update on how Massachusetts residents are feeling as the outbreaks impacts continue to charge ahead. According to new data from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and The MassINC Polling Group, the physical, emotional, and fiscal health of residents is taking a hit. People--especially lower-income, hourly, and part-time workers-- are losing jobs or wages, dealing with the constant onslaught of frightening headlines, and--particularly urban dwellers--are exercising and getting outdoors less frequently now. On the upside, people are connecting (virtually) with loved ones now more than before.

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