US people of color with long COVID face uphill battle to be heard: report

A man wearing a face mask walks on a street in Manhattan of New York, the United States, Jan. 19, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Having long COVID can be nightmarish for anyone, but gender and ethnicity have made it particularly difficult for people of color in the United States to convince doctors their symptoms are real, reported Scientific American on Thursday.

"I was seeing largely white male doctors, and a young Latina presenting to the emergency room made it very easy to psychopathologize my symptoms and dismiss me," Angela Vázquez, a Los Angeles resident with long COVID symptoms, was quoted as saying.

Today Vázquez is president of Body Politic, an organization that advocates for people with long COVID and offers them an online support group.

Many of these individuals, Vázquez said, have similar stories of battling a confusing new condition while navigating an ill-equipped bureaucracy as a person of color.

"To the extent that people are dealing with long COVID, people of color are going to face the same inequities they face in terms of accessing health care generally, in terms of potential treatments for long COVID," said Samantha Artiga, vice president and director of the Racial Equity and Health Policy Program at Kaiser Family Foundation.