COVID-19: BAME Concerns

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COVID-19: BAME Concerns
The Reverend Pam Searle | 2020 - April to June | United Kingdom
Pam discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting BAME communities in Britain

As I trawl through the newspapers this morning for a glimmer of hope I am reminded of a verse from Romans 15:13 which reads:

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hope for some can be a dangerous prospect especially if you have suffered from an array of disappointments in your past. But having hope in a God that cares for you intimately, who knows about you and Loves you is both wonderful and heart-warming.  Not least, to serve a God who is described in this instance as Hope especially in these particularly strange COVID-19 times is very helpful, so we must hold onto a Lord that is positive, and for many, thankfully true.

The current statistics indicate that Black African Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Britain are dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates, but scientists have struggled to explain why.

I am indeed blessed not to have any medical knowledge at all but, as a proud to be Black Minister in Sutton, I found this statement saddening, and I was left with the question WHY? WHY on earth should this virus hit us any worse than a white person? 

However, the statement, got me to thinking that it may be because we are, and have been, the backbone in the NHS and care system for many years.  By this, I mean BAME people hold jobs throughout the health care system but disproportionately higher in the lower income bracket and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was, and sadly remains, in low supply. Was appropriate training and communication given? Secondly, as a people we have managed reasonably well to carry underlying illnesses to a point where it has become a way of life without fuss. 

So, when the Government announced that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, it may have gone unheard.  Unheard, as we did not consider that our medical conditions were serious; after all, “I have managed to work with it, live with it almost problem free!” Furthermore BAME people are statistically less likely to seek medical help - not to mention that our income bracket is and remains lower than our white colleagues. 

There are of course so many factors to consider and pray into, but brevity is key. So, as I began, I finish:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are people who trust in a God that fills us with Peace, a Peace that transcends all understanding, who will guard our hearts and our minds.

Be blessed

Pam.

The Reverend Pam Searle is the Minister at Sutton Baptist Church. If you would like to speak to or arrange a zoom meeting with Pam, please contact the Editors at kaleidoscopemagazinesacco@gmail.com