This week, a beloved New York City teacher died after a month of fighting the coronavirus. She was reportedly denied testing twice before the actual diagnosis.
Rana Zoe Mungin, 30, is a well-known and beloved school teacher at Bushwick Ascend Middle School in New York City. Unfortunately, that love wasn’t shown to her when she apparently got denied a coronavirus test twice before being diagnosed, but by then it was already too late.
Mungin died after a six-week battle with the virus and her family has reason to believe that the denial to have her diagnosed has something to do with their race.
Mungin’s battle with the virus has been chronicled by her sister Mia Mungin, who is a registered nurse, on social media. As such, she updated everyone after her sister’s passing on Monday.
“She fought a long fight but her body was to weak,” she tweeted.
According to Mia, her sister (who has asthma as well) went to Brookdale Hospital Medical Center twice after developing a fever in order to get diagnosed. On both occasions, however, her sister was sent home without undergoing any tests. The first, she was just given medicine for her asthma, while the hospital said that they didn’t have enough testing kits on the second time.
It wasn’t until the third trip (when she was already having difficulty in breathing) when she was finally tested and diagnosed to be suffering from the coronavirus. Not long after that, she was placed on a ventilator.
Over the following weeks, she was then transferred to another hospital in Manhattan and was even off the ventilator for a while since she showed some positive signs. Unfortunately, she still succumbed to it.
Per Mungin, she believes that there was a racial issue in the denial of her sister from getting tested since they are black.
“Racism and health disparities… still continues at this day and age. The zip code in which we lives in still predetermine the type of care we receive,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“It has been well-documented that when African Americans try to navigate the health care system they experience many barriers. And one of those barriers is denial of health care and services in some situations.
Some of that does have to do with I think stereotypes and this perception about that pain of African Americans and this case, black women,” Dr. Jamila Taylor, the director of health care reform and senior fellow at the Century Foundation, said. “Zoe’s story as sad as it is, is not unique, I think, to the black experience in terms of navigating the health care system.”