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The COVID-19, racism, and violence syndemic: Evidence from a qualitative study with Black residents of Chicago. SSM Qual Res Health 2023 Jun;3:100218

Date

01/12/2023

Pubmed ID

36628065

Pubmed Central ID

PMC9817424

DOI

10.1016/j.ssmqr.2023.100218

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85149604120 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   2 Citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the United States in the shadows of a vast history of structural racism and community and police violence that disproportionately affect Black communities. Collectively, they have created a syndemic, wherein COVID-19, racism, and violence are mutually reinforcing to produce adverse health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to understand the COVID-19, racism, and violence syndemic and examine how structural racism and violence contributed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities. In early 2021, we conducted phenomenological qualitative interviews with 50 Black residents of Chicago. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. We identified four primary themes in our analyses: 1) the intersection of racism and violence in Chicago; 2) longstanding inequities were laid bare by COVID-19; 3) the pervasiveness of racism and violence contributes to poor mental health; 4) and COVID-19, racism and violence emerged as a syndemic. Our findings underscore the importance of addressing social and structural factors in remediating the health and social consequences brought about by COVID-19.

Author List

Quinn KG, Harris M, Sherrod D, Hunt BR, Jacobs J, Valencia J, Walsh JL

Authors

Katherine Quinn PhD Associate Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jennifer L. Walsh PhD Associate Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin