by Kevin Schofield
On Tuesday, April 20, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter of the Central District of California issued a ruling that is likely to become a watershed moment in the United States’ response to homelessness.
In March of last year, the LA Alliance for Human Rights and several individuals sued the City and County of Los Angeles, alleging that they had not only fundamentally failed to address the homeless emergency in Los Angeles but had in fact contributed to creating it over the course of several decades. The complaint they filed reads more like what we might imagine the authors of the “Seattle is Dying” video would have written about Los Angeles: public health hazards, accumulating trash, rising crime, blocked sidewalks, local government leaders unwilling or unable to rise to the challenge of dealing with it. But Judge Carter had his own ideas, and over the last year has fully immersed himself in the issues and the situation on the ground.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: A Watershed Ruling on Homelessness
by Kevin Schofield
Earlier this week Carolyn Bick wrote an excellent article on the CDC’s decision to “pause” use of the COVID vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson after reports of a handful of cases of blood clots in the several days following vaccination. This week’s Long Reads dives into the science of why the CDC made that controversial move, and what happens next.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: Why the CDC ‘Paused’ the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine
by Ben Adlin
Editors’ Note: This article will be updated periodically as new information becomes available. New sections will be dated for your convenience.
Beginning Thursday, April 15, everyone in Washington 16 years or older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Chances are that’s you. So now that you qualify for a shot, how do you actually get one?
The good news: There are plenty of places around South Seattle and South King County that offer the vaccines. Vaccination is also free of charge, no matter where you get it or whether or not you have insurance.
The not-so-good news: Finding a shot — at least for now — might take some time. Millions of people across the state have become eligible in recent weeks, and waitlists are getting long. The region is also forecast to see a near-term shortage in vaccines as manufacturers scramble to ramp up production.
Continue reading How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in South Seattle and South King County
by Chamidae Ford
(This article is published in recognition of Black Maternal Health Week, which takes place every year from April 11–17. The week is intended to deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US; amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions; and center the voices of Black mamas, women, femmes, families, and stakeholders.)
Childbirth is often thought to be the most magical experience one can have. But for Black women, the road to motherhood can often be paved with horror due to the racism they face in the medical field.
Shayla Akande gave birth to a baby girl on January 24, 2021. Although her story ends with a happy and healthy baby, the birthing process wasn’t the smooth transition she had been hoping for.
Continue reading How Medical Racism Robs Black Families of Joyous Birth Experiences
by Alexa Peters
Any Native American powwow performer, artisan, staffer, or organizer will tell you that a powwow — rich with intricately-beaded regalia, the dust of dancing moccasins, and the call and response of traditional songs — is a celebration of life itself; it’s a chance to honor the drum that beats in us all.
While nothing can stop the beat of this drum, the ways of celebration must adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affects Native Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 23 selected states, the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among American Indian and Alaskan Native people “was 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites.”
Continue reading Native Communities Seek to Keep the Spirit of the Powwow Alive During the Pandemic
by Kevin Schofield
After last week’s interesting but depressing column looking at the leading causes of death in the United States, I promised South Seattle Emerald publisher and editor Marcus Green that this week’s column would be on a lighter note. Or, as Marcus jokingly put it, “unicorns and popsicles.”
Ask, and ye shall receive.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: Unicorns and Popsicles
by Kevin Schofield
Now that we’re a few months into 2021, the final statistics on the dumpster fire that was 2020 are now trickling out. This week’s long read — admittedly not a very long one but an important one for us to reflect on — is a look at the leading causes of death last year.
You may be surprised to learn that COVID-19 was only #3 on the list — and a distant third at that. That said, the COVID pandemic still had an obvious and outsized impact on nearly every aspect of the mortality figures.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: The Leading Causes of Death in 2020
by Kevin Schofield
As we start to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, there has been a shift in the kinds of articles showing up in medical journals about the virus and its impacts. They’re talking about the vaccines out in the real world now and not just their future impact. But some of the research now examines the impact that the virus, and our societal response to it, have had upon us. This week’s Long Reads features three such papers that make for interesting reading.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: the ‘COVID Twenty-Two’ and Other Pandemic Musings
by Paula Cornell
(This article was originally printed by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission.)
Advocates say that on March 1, Victor Fonseca, a detainee at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Northwest Processing Center — formerly known as the Northwest Detention Center but rebranded — reached his 100th day of a hunger strike in protest of COVID-19 policies.
Fonseca, 39, who has been in the United States for 20 years and hails from Venezuela, was picked up by ICE for a crime committed two years ago in Salt Lake City. Suffering from arthritis and on medication that lowers his immune system, Fonseca began a hunger strike in protest of the poor protection for the medically vulnerable in the face of the pandemic.
Continue reading In Tacoma, an ICE Detainee’s Hunger Strike Tops 100 Days
by Kamna Shastri
Since the beginning of the year, Asian Americans have come increasingly under violent attack. Elders have been assaulted in Chinatowns across the country from Oakland to San Francisco to New York City. In late February, Inglemoor High School Japanese teacher Noriko Nasu and her boyfriend were walking through Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (C-ID) and were attacked without provocation. Nasu was knocked unconscious, and her boyfriend required eight stitches. Asian American community members in Seattle had already been experiencing racial slurs and aggression at increased rates since COVID-19 began in 2020. Then, last week, a 21-year-old white man murdered 8 people at massage parlors 30 miles apart in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian women. The businesses were Asian owned.
Continue reading In the Face of Hate, Asian Americans Call for Solidarity With All People of Color