Graph via health.hawaii.gov (9/25/2020)
As cases of COVID-19 have grown, the disease has been hitting the Micronesian community hard. Due to language barriers, contact tracing difficulties, and a large number of multi-generation households, the virus has spread more easily and quickly within the Micronesian community.
According to Lynn Kawano’s Hawaii News Now article “As infections soar, COVID-19 is hitting one ethnic group in Hawaii particularly hard,” members of the Micronesian community are five times more likely to contract the virus than Hawaii’s population as a whole. Health professionals have been trying their best to reach out to these communities, which has made some progress.
I interviewed a Micronesian man in his mid-60’s who was diagnosed with COVID-19 June and would like to remain anonymous. He also has diabetes, which increased his risk of serious illness from COVID-19. He didn’t know that he had COVID-19 until he had a hard time breathing. He then rushed to the hospital to get checked and says, “It was a life and death situation for me. My children had to be quarantined while I stayed in the hospital. I prayed to Christ and I put all my faith all on Jesus Christ. I think that’s why I’m still alive.”
COVID-19 should be taken more seriously within the Micronesian community and Oahu as a whole since it’s easily spread and can involve severe symptoms. As a member of the Micronesian community, I have observed that COVID-19 can easily affect our health. We should be wearing our masks correctly and consistently. We should also avoid large gatherings. If we take this seriously, things can go back to the way they were.