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I was sitting in my balcony studying for my finals when I get a message on my phone: Biden has won the presidential election. All these emotions came to me, and I started to recall the past four years. I recalled the first racist remarks I got at Walmart the first week Donald Trump won four years ago because I was speaking Spanish. I recalled being told by strangers to go back to my country because I was speaking Spanish. I recalled simply last week, being told I wasn’t able to do something just because of my race. I recalled the days sitting in meetings and in class and loosing my voice and respect as the days went by. I recall how in the past 4 years I was losing my sense of belonging in the U.S, …


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https://insights.dice.com/2020/06/17/how-apple-google-twitter-youtube-pushing-racial-equality/

The novel Coronavirus or COVID19 has shown no mercy in the U.S, with a grappling 175,00 lives lost from COVID19 and almost 6 million people infected in the U.S in a mere 5 months. We have seen the virus infect all types of people across the country, but we have seen it infect some people more than others, particularly the minority population. When taking a deeper dive into the numbers, we see that the Latino and Black population are three times more likely to become infected, compared to Whites. This also applies to states where the Native American population is highly present, like in Arizona where Native Americans are three to four times more likely to be infected, and is also the community with the highest death to population ratio. When looking at death rates, 1 in 1,250 Black Americans have died from COVID, 1 in 2,200 Latinos have died from COVID19, and 1 in 1,500 Indigenous Americans have died from COVID19. …


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https://abcnews.go.com/US/photos-protests-erupted-country-death-george-floyd/story?id=70982934

This past week we have witnessed several incidents of Racism towards Blacks. The most impacting incident includes the death of George Floyd, a unarmed Black American who was being arrested on alleged forgery. A video soon circulated showing Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on Floyd’s neck, with 3 other officers on the side who just stared. In the video we can hear Floyd saying “I can’t breathe.” Despite this, the officer continues to rest his knee on Floyd’s neck till eventually Floyd stopped breathing and dies on scene. Another racism incident that same week included another Black man, Christian C. Christian C., an avid bird watcher, had asked a woman, Amy Cooper, in Central Park to please leash her dog, as that is the rule. When she started to refuse, he took a video of the dog off the leash and soon she is seen in the video calling the police saying an African American was threatening her life. As she made the call she put her dog on a leash and Christian C. stopped recording and left. …


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On March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced coronavirus or COVID-19 a pandemic. This means there is widespread human infection of COVID-19 around the world. Currently the U.S has approximately 80,000 cases with more than 1000 deaths, with Arizona having 450 cases with several deaths out of the 826 they have tested. Arizona has taken some public health measures to try and contain COVID-19 with initially giving recommendation to Arizonians to stay inside and work from home if possible.

While public health approaches are being taken in Arizona, they may not the correct ones for the intensity of this situation and the stage we are at with COVID-19. …


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I didn’t realize how much my ethnicity (being a Hispanic Female) would determine of my future. At a young age I thought that I could be anything I wanted to be, but as I grew older, I slowly realized that my ethnicity would try and determine some of that for me. I first realized this during my time in medical appointments with my sister.

My sister has Autism and Epilepsy. This made her first decade and a few more years of life much tougher than your regular kid. Going to at least 2 doctors appointments a month became part of our regular schedule. Since the young age of 10, I have accompanied my mom to all of my sister’s appointments. While going back and forth to appointments I started to notice a difference. Sometimes they would tell us everything, sometimes they wouldn’t, sometimes they would give a translator, other times, they would barely talk to us. We would notice that as soon as we “knew what we were talking about,” they would start explaining things to us. The bias due to our ethnicity was present, and a barrier that we had to sometimes over come simply for good healthcare, a human right. …


2020 has started and we all know what that means, time to organize our goals for the year, our agendas, our new years resolutions, and most importantly, set up our yearly wellness checks. For those of you who haven’t added this to your to do list or aren’t familiar with it, let me take a moment to share some knowledge with you. A wellness check is a yearly check that occurs with your primary care physician or another healthcare professional monitored by a physician. This yearly check is geared towards preventing diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other common diseases. This wellness check usually includes blood pressure check, blood work that checks for triglyceride levels, cholesterol, vitamin levels like vitamin D (among others things), sugar check, an ECG, and additional items depending on your gender and medical history. For females you will usually have your pap smear and for males usually a prostate exam along with checking your PSA levels. …


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https://www.axios.com/2020-presidential-candidates-medicare-for-all-7d958bab-de34-4d8c-921d-b561f201c4c2.html

In the past 2 debates we have seen 20 candidates in two days speak of tedious topics like immigration, healthcare, criminal reform and many others, with each candidate taking a stance on each topic. One of the most prominent topics spoken in these last two debates was healthcare with candidates taking one of three stances, Universal Healthcare, Medicare For All, or something in the middle. We have candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that are in favor of Medicare For All. We also have other candidates like Vice President Joe Biden who wants to give healthcare to all but wants to do that by building on Obamacare, instead of replacing it, which is what a plan like Medicare For All or Universal Healthcare plans would do. …


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https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2015/12/05/new-york-times-puts-gun-control-editorial-on-page-1-after-san-bernardino-mass-shooting/

In less than 24 hours, 29 people have been shot dead, and dozens have been injured in two mass shootings, with one mass shooting occurring in El Paso, Texas in a Walmart, and another in Dayton, Ohio, in a night club. These incidents have revived the gun control debate and have politicians and the people of America questioning what will be done, and most importantly, when will it be done.

Some politicians and Americans claim that gun control will not change anything, instead it will just infringe on the second amendment. They use examples like the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting that also occurred this week in California, a state with one of the strictest gun laws in the nation, where 3 died after 19-year-old Santino William Legan opened fire. Many more would have died but, just like in the Dayton Shooting today, the suspect was shot dead in less than a minute. Other shootings in California include the San Bernardino shooting where 16 died. Many reiterate that despite California having one of the strictest gun laws, people still died from mass shootings. Other’s say gun control policy will fix this mass shooting crisis and use examples of mass shootings like yesterdays in El Paso, Texas, one of the most lenient states in gun control, and a state where 4 of the deadliest mass shootings have occurred. We also have states like Arizona, a state that is also considered one of the most lenient states in gun control, yet there has not been a public mass shooting in Arizona since 2011. These variations have caused people to question whether gun control is the correct route, or if we should focus on other things like mental health, racism, etc but what people do not realize is that gun control is more than gun control. …


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https://www.insider.com/biggest-wedding-regrets-couples-have-2018-10

It’s 2am, I am on call. 3 patients have arrived back to back to the trauma bay. There was a neighborhood shooting. First patient, 22-year-old male GSW to chest, second patient 34 year old GSW to head, and lastly 11 year old patient self-inflicted GSW to the chest. I take the 11 year old patient to the OR, and after several hours of tending to the wound from the bullet to his heart, we suture, close, and send him to the PICU. It is now 7am, my shift is over, but I stay to finish notes. As I arrive home at 8am I remember I have to get Victoria, our 3 year old daughter, ready for preschool, as I enter the house I see you are changing her and giving her breakfast before you head to work. I take advantage of this time to go to take a shower after a bloody day, literally. As I get out, I see you made me some breakfast, I eat and we both take her to school. We arrive home, you go to work and I stay at home to finish notes, get a quick nap in and get ready for my research meetings. Time flies, I see the clock, it is 2pm, time to go pick up Victoria. You are at work, I go pick Victoria and talk to her teacher. Victoria had a great day, and came out smiling more than ever. I go home, see the clock, it’s almost 3, I have a meeting at 4. You won’t be out till late, so I take Victoria to my meetings. I grab her backpack, put in a lunch, and toys and we leave. After 2 hours of meetings and more of research, Victoria and I get home, it’s 6pm, I haven’t made dinner and probably won’t because I am too tired and have to get Victoria ready for bed. I walk in and see dinner ready, you arrived home at 5pm and made Victoria and I dinner. …


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In the past decades, we have seen an increase in the Latino population in Arizona with the Latino to White ratio increasing from 26:63 to 41:44 from 1980 to 2000 (Latinos, Whites and the Shifting Demography of Arizona, 2010). In the Last U.S census completed in 2010 the Latino population surpassed the White population with Arizona being comprised of 49% Latinos and 37% White, not counting the undocumented population in Arizona. We are also seeing an increasing momentum of a youthful Latino population in Arizona, with the gap closing between the number of white and Latino residents ranging from ages 0–34 years old. …

About

Maria Valdez, MPH

Contributor writer for Medium and former contributor writer for HuffPost. I focus on disparities in education and medicine. #Latina #Hispana #Medicine

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