Expert Pitch
West Virginia University

Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina: Some populations at higher risk during COVID-19 pandemic

18-Mar-2020 12:15 PM EDT, by West Virginia University

Michael Zakour, professor of social work at West Virginia University, lived through Hurricane Katrina and studied the vulnerability and resiliency of the community following the disaster.

After observing the lack of coordination and communication - which put vulnerable populations at higher risk - before, during and after Hurricane Katrina, Zakour is concerned the same may be happening now in the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Zakour has written numerous articles and books on disasters and community disaster vulnerability. He was lead editor of “Creating Katrina, Rebuilding Resilience: Lessons from New Orleans on Vulnerability and Resiliency.”

Quotes:

As in many other disasters, certain populations will bear the brunt of exposure to the virus, infection and mortality. These vulnerable populations must not be ignored or passed over when aid is provided to deal with the novel coronavirus.”

“The novel coronavirus is a disaster initiated by both natural forces and human-caused hazards. Of course, the natural hazard is the novel coronavirus. The human-caused hazard is the slowness of the response, and the lack of adequate coordination among government and private organizations at all levels.”  

“An unknown question in the pandemic is ‘Will this disaster be like Katrina, when the response system collapsed, and survivors faced violence and the eventual abandonment by the country of the entire region?’ Or will Americans pull together and cooperate to end this crisis and disaster? Hurricane Katrina taught students of disaster that pulling together is not always the case. So far, the coronavirus response has seen shortfalls in effective coordination and communication.”

“People with disabilities often suffer from serious underlying health problems and will be more susceptible to dying from the virus. This group is often underserved by the emergency system and will likely face similar hardships in this pandemic. Women and girls often suffer greatly because they are charged with caring for sick people who are unable to go to a hospital for treatment. Some women and girls may themselves become infected and die, given their responsibilities to care for others. We have already seen discrimination against people of Chinese ancestry, and on the U.S. West Coast and elsewhere people seem to be blaming the victims. Even the family members of people who have recovered from the virus have been shunned for fear they may transmit the virus.”

“The lack of mobilization of not-for-profit organizations with well-managed programs of trained volunteers is already limiting an effective response to the virus. This shortfall is made worse by the lack of flexibility in plans and response, a response in which responders are constantly learning and adjusting, and a lack of adequate public funding for the response to the virus disaster.”

“The United States must try to stay ahead of the novel coronavirus disaster through coordinated action and communication that includes serving the most vulnerable members of society.” - Michael Zakour, Professor of Social Work, WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, are of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.

-WVU-

js/03/17/20

 

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.




Filters close

Showing results

1120 of 2528
Newswise: Commentary in Pediatrics: Children Don’t Transmit Covid-19, Schools Should Reopen in Fall
7-Jul-2020 3:00 PM EDT
Commentary in Pediatrics: Children Don’t Transmit Covid-19, Schools Should Reopen in Fall
University of Vermont

Based on one new and three recent studies, the authors of this commentary in Pediatrics conclude that children rarely transmit Covid-19, either among themselves or to adults. The authors recommend that schools reopen in the fall, since staying home can adversely affects children's development.

Newswise: Team Sports Risks Go Well Beyond Injury During the Pandemic
Released: 9-Jul-2020 6:25 PM EDT
Team Sports Risks Go Well Beyond Injury During the Pandemic
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Annabelle de St. Maurice, MD, MPH, co-chief infection prevention officer for UCLA Health, speaks on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guide for youth sports to resume.

Newswise: shutterstock_1658523400-300x300.jpg
Released: 9-Jul-2020 3:40 PM EDT
WashU Expert: America gains nothing by leaving WHO
Washington University in St. Louis

President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to suspend U.S. funding to, and withdraw from, the World Health Organization is “counter to our interests in addressing our needs to save the lives and further the health of Americans, as well as an abandonment of America’s position as a global leader,” says the director of Washington University in St.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 2:15 PM EDT
NFHS-AMSSM Guidance for Assessing Cardiac Issues in High School Student-Athletes with COVID-19 Infection
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)

An expert medical task force appointed by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has issued guidance for assessing potential cardiac issues in high school student-athletes with COVID-19 infection.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 12:45 PM EDT
Structural analysis of COVID-19 spike protein provides insight into its evolution
Francis Crick Institute

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have characterised the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as well as its most similar relative in a bat coronavirus.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 12:20 PM EDT
Face Masks Can be Devastating for People with Hearing loss, NYU professors say in British Medical Journal
New York University

Experts examine the serious implications of needed coronavirus prevention measures on health care practitioners and their patients with hearing loss.

Newswise: Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine
Released: 9-Jul-2020 12:00 PM EDT
Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every Tuesday throughout the duration of the outbreak.

Newswise: Is COVID-19 widening the gender gap in academic medicine?
Released: 9-Jul-2020 11:35 AM EDT
Is COVID-19 widening the gender gap in academic medicine?
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A new study finds that fewer women were first authors on COVID-19-related research papers published in the first half of this year. The findings suggest a worsening gender gap in academic medicine, where women were already underrepresented among authors of medical research.

Released: 9-Jul-2020 11:10 AM EDT
How Can Education Researchers Support Education and Public Health Institutions During Covid-19?
American Educational Research Association (AERA)

As education researchers’ ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic? An article published today in Educational Researcher aims to answer that question, providing recommendations based on conversations with public health officials, state and local policymakers, educational leaders, directors of national education organizations, and researchers across disciplines.


Showing results

1120 of 2528

close
0.75455