(Hattip to Frozen Tropics)
The CDC (Center for Disease Control), which I would like to trust for their timely health information has put something out that erodes that trust. Eroded, because Health Effects of Gentrification, is stupid.
I don’t deny that displacement because of neighborhood demographic changes is stressful and stress impacts ones health. According to the CDC:
These special populations are at increased risk for the negative consequences of gentrification. Studies indicate that vulnerable populations typically have shorter life expectancy; higher cancer rates; more birth defects; greater infant mortality; and higher incidence of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, increasing evidence shows that these populations have an unequal share of residential exposure to hazardous substances such as lead paint.
So is the CDC saying that gentrification, not poverty and poor housing is the cause of shorter life expectancy and asthma? Are all those new middle class residents moving in and fixing up vacant and run down houses polluting the air with lead paint? Is that what the CDC is saying? Because in poor neighborhoods in no danger of gentrification or reinvestment are healthy, lead free, utopias where the Popeye’s serve low fat vitamin rich meals and the corner mart has fresh fruit and lettuces. Oh wait, no. Those poorer neighborhoods in the other part of the District (think outside of NW) aren’t healthier because there is little to no gentrification there.
I see there was nothing for ‘Health Effects of Poverty’ because gentrification is a nice way to distract attention away from chronically poor neighborhoods.
On Saturday I got a flier advertising the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Nurses’ Ministry’s Church and Community Health Fair. What I really wanted to do Saturday was ask questions of what I’m assuming is some clothing ministry that was out on the corner of 3rd and Q that day. But I was running errands and trying to catch buses so that didn’t happen.
If you haven’t seen them or ever walked by that corner when they are out, every so often (it seems monthly or quarterly) on a Saturday there will be free clothing offered. The couple of times I’ve passed there have been people fingering through the racks of clothes. When I walked by this weekend there were “gently used” (got that phrase from EBay) women’s and children’s shoes. There were children’s clothing as well as adult clothing. And then there is the big chalkboard saying “Free Clothes” just so it is clear of what’ going on and offered.
The flier I got is for free health screenings and some shots & tests that are to occur on the 26th from 10AM to 3PM. The screenings are for prostate cancer, glucose (for diabetes, body fats or lipids), and blood pressure. The tests are for HIV, urine, and hearing. The shots are for the flu and tetanus. This is to occur in their lower auditorium. I’m guessing that’s the same area where we have the BACA meetings.
For more information I gather one would contact Mt. Sinai and their office # is 2/ 667-1833.
Local Shaw blogger Jimbo tells us to relax about the swine flu and you know, I’ll do my part too. I will change my ways and not be the Typhoid Mari I usually am, coming to work sick. At the slightest hint of illness, at least this Spring, I will stay home. I’ve got about 300 hours of sick leave built up, I guess I can use it.
So read Jim’s post, wash your hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.