I hopped on a Medicare for All training call the other day hosted by SPACEs In Action and heard an absolutely horrifying statistic. I knew that Black communities in the U.S. were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but I was largely ignorant of what that really looked like in my own city. Apparently, there is a 19.7% diabetes rate in Ward 8 of Washington, D.C. To put that in context, this is the highest diabetes rate in the Western hemisphere and the 6th highest of any community in the entire world. This bodes very badly in a pandemic. I wanted to share this information...so I made this soda can.
Implicit in this creation is the assumption that people with diabetes contract the disease because of their health choices and sugar intake. I wanted to challenge this common response. Especially for underserved and marginalized populations, much of the problem is systemic. It has more to do with the medical services that are available in different communities and with the government's choices about programs like Medicare for All than it does with individual behavior. Because our society is so individualistic, our American narrative is that people make themselves sick.
If you have a chronic disease like diabetes, which is incredibly common in the U.S. but even more so in certain communities, you are much more at risk to contract COVID-19 and die from it. So communities like Ward 8 who are already dealing with a health crisis...get to deal with another one. I thought it might be cheeky to put this information in the hands of a soda drinker and have them consider whether individual health choices are really what cause rampant disease.
On a typographic note, I wasn't quite done with "Misto," the typeface that I used in the "Mapping with Mom" blog and am considering making my own reverse contrast typeface so stay tuned. I was eager to try my hand at some of this chrome type nonsense that is all the rage so I produced a cute soda can with serious intent and bevelled type. I learned a bit more Photoshop and used one of the many mockups I've been up to my ears with lately as I tighten up my portfolio.