Our Covid-19 Response
COVID-19 doesn’t make everyone who gets infected sick, but it does make everyone who gets infected contagious. That means family members with strong immune systems who engage in COVID-19 risky behaviors may never know that they infected their mother, aunt or grandmother. That is why it is so important for each family member to behave as if the coronavirus is in the air and everywhere in the public, at school and at work.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in Genesee County, 94% of the people who died from COVID-19 were over the age of 50 years old, as reported by the county health department. Men were dying at higher rates than women. The percent of deaths for Black people was more than two times that of the percentage of the Black population of Genesee County. This burden on the community was not isolated. Black communities around the country were at greater risk for COVID-19 due to a myriad of factors. However, two coinciding factors had lethal impact within families. The first factor is the presence of the most vulnerable family members living in the household. They were those with medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and heart conditions. Additionally, being 50 years old or older increased the risk of death or serious disability from COVID-19. The second factor is the (essential) workers that are over-exposed to virus infection living in the same household as the most vulnerable. Those living in multigenerational families with over-exposed workers in the household were at a much higher risk that placed older Black people at greater risk for exposure to the disease.
Death of family members from COVID-19 poses more than the threat of mourning the family loss. It also carries economic threats as well. Very little of the income of families in the Black community comes from wealth. Income comes from employment, the safety net or life estates. The majority of family members dying from COVID-19 received their income from life estates; that is pensions and social security. Unlike wealth assets like stocks, bonds and real estate that get passed down to younger family members, life estates die with the person owning them. That means the economic help younger family members received from those who died goes away. Black communities like Flint are already strapped for income. COVID-19 made it worse.
Upon recognizing the destructive impact of a forecasted more deadly COVID-19 2nd wave in the fall 2020 and winter 2021, CBOP took action. With the lack of employer and government focus on keeping families safe, CBOP took the approach of household prevention in the community. CBOP worked with its public health and medical partners to develop eight strategies to assist the community to prevent more death and economic woe experienced in prior months. As of this writing CBOP has produced flyers, public service announcements and talking points. In addition to educating the community, CBOP has distributed facemasks to the community. The pandemic creates havoc with families’ mental health. To raise awareness of the pandemic’s impact and to assist in the grieving process of fallen family members, CBOP distributed remembrance wristbands to the community.
Although the community does not control most institutions,
household prevention behaviors are under the community’s control.
CBOP encourages households to:
Love the family enough to do facemask wearing
6 feet physical distancing in public
Hand sanitizing to avoid bringing the coronavirus (Sars Co-V-2) home to the family.
The virus is extremely contagious and easy to catch. The coronavirus lives in the air for hours. Just breathing can give it to another person. By not paying close attention to defending against catching the COVID-19 infection, a family member can easily catch it and pass it on to a vulnerable family member who then dies from it.
City of Flint Water Crisis
The Community Based Organization Partners (CBOP) has engaged in numerous water related activities in Flint, Michigan. Prior to the Flint water crisis, CBOP was engaging with the City of Detroit around their high water rates advocating and protesting with the citizens in Detroit. Also, the community based organization partners were protesting and advocating to repeal the emergency manager laws in Michigan which were being implemented predominantly in communities of color. The CBOP of Flint has established the George Mashour water relief fund. This fund is an honor of Dr. George Mashour of the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research, for his willingness support, assist, and stand with CBOP and the citizens of Flint during the water crisis.
If you would like to donate please contact:
The Community Based Organization Partners
PO Box 442
Flint Michigan 48501.
Let's fight for Flint. Let's change the narrative, and heal Flint’s water, by first healing Flint’s people!