Covid-19 and the Black Experience: An Examination of the Interrelationship of Individual Accounts of Disease



Dandridge, DéShondra

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The thesis investigates the impact that social and cultural expectations have on how African Americans experience disease. This thesis sheds light on the nationwide development of COVID-19 and focuses on the experiences of four individuals living in or around Richmond, Virginia. The interviews show that each individual's response to and experience of having Covid was imbricated with their societal roles and cultural expectations. The first interview follows the experience of a student-athlete and the disruption of her sense of normalcy. The physical isolation from having COVID-19 severely impacts mental health and the ability to uphold one's social role.The second interview centers on the experience of a stay-at-home- mom and how COVID-19 heightens the experience of motherhood and its responsibilities. The third interviewee is a working dad who strives to uphold normalcy, heightening his role as a father and a caregiver. The fourth and final interviewee is a working young male who tries to maintain a normal lifestyle while battling loneliness and despair in a pandemic environment. This thesis intends to be a reference and resource for individuals interested in the perspectives of African Americans during times of public health crisis.



COVID-19, Social roles, Isolation, Loneliness