In Europe, Covid-19 is having a disproportionate impact on immigrant populations. That is a puzzle because immigrants tend to be younger (and consequently less obese) than native-born citizens.
In the United States, Covid-19 is hammering inner-cities and African-Americans.
The knee-jerk reaction is to assume sinister intent. But can the information be viewed through the lens of how epidemics spread and, more importantly, can key factors be identified and mitigated against?
Population density can be looked at from two different perspectives.
At a macroscopic level, the Bronx has 34,000 people per square mile. Large swaths of Detroit have 9000 people per square mile. Eaton Rapids Township (where I live) has 100 people per square mile. Chesterfield and Sunfield townships have fifty and sixty people per square mile respectively.
Immigrants and minorities tend to live in high-density, urban areas.
At a more granular level, immigrants and minorities tend to pack more residents into a household. They have more kids. Multiple generation tend to share dwellings. Several, single guys tend to share a single apartment.
Urban areas tend to be under-served by grocery stores.
Convenience stores are a major source of groceries. They tend to have many visitors per hour and there is much opportunity for one person in the neighborhood to infect a boat-load of people.
In the suburbs and rural America, the distances encourage weekly or monthly shopping trips. We purchase groceries less frequently and the stores we patronize tend to be larger, brighter, less crowded and better ventilated.
Urban leaders are baffled by large, grocery retailers' reluctance to open stores in urban areas. The reasons given: Punitive taxes, high rates of inventory "shrinkage", poor roads and utilities and mediocre police response simply draw shrugs from the leaders.