Social Studies teacher dies of COVID-19 after being denied test twice

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 17:39 |
Rana Zoe Mungin, a 30-year-old teacher from Brooklyn, New York,

A beloved 30-year-old middle school social studies teacher from Brooklyn in US has died of COVID-19 following a month-long battle, after twice being turned away for testing before eventually being diagnosed with the virus.

Rana Zoe Mungin, who had been clinging to life in the hospital for more than a month, died on Monday afternoon, her mother confirmed to ABC News.

Despite repeated pleas for help and exhibiting various symptoms of the virus, Mungin was twice denied COVID-19 testing at Brooklyn's Brookdale Hospital, according to her family.

It was the same hospital where her older sister died of an asthma attack 15 years earlier.

According to one of her friends, her condition was also dismissed as a "panic attack" by an EMT.

Mia Mungin, a registered New York City nurse, has been chronicling her sister's journey across social media for more than a month, and said "she fought a long fight but her body was too weak."mia mungin@MiaMungin

It is with heavy heart that I have to inform you all that my sister Rana Zoe Maybe has passed away today at 12:25pm due to COVID-19 complication.

"Racism and health disparities still continues … [and] the zip code in which we live still predetermines the type of care we receive," Mia Mungin wrote on Facebook about the racial disparities in the health care system and the care received by her sister, who was black.

Rana Zoe Mungin taught at Ascend Academy in East New York, Brooklyn, an area of New York City that's among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the state's health department.

She was a first-generation college student who received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wellesley College and later earned a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Creative Writing.

Her case echoes startling data released by the CDC showing that African Americans are being severely impacted by COVID-19 nationwide, accounting for 30% of coronavirus cases in the U.S. despite only comprising approximately 13% of the population.MORE: Blacks make up as many as 30% of COVID-19 cases, per early CDC figures

"She died not only because of COVID-19, but because we live in a world that is racist and anti-black," her friend for more than a decade, Nohemi Maciel, told ABC News. "We know that black people are dying at disproportionate rates. This cannot be left out of the conversation."

"I'm heartbroken and don't know how to live in a world without Zoe. But I'm also angry. I'm angry that her students lost a wonderful and committed teacher, because representation matters," Maciel added.

Lauren Calihman, who met Mungin during her freshman year at Wellesley College, said that people who live in areas where city hospitals are underfunded are implicitly being told that "their lives don't matter, that they don't matter."

"Imagine if Zoe had received treatment consistent with the severity of her symptoms, rather than receiving treatment consistent with her origins," said Calihman.


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