COVID-19 and the LatinX community
Event led by Heidi Zapata, Marco Ramos and Marjorie Golden
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the LatinX community in a disproportionate manner. I am hoping that the conversation we have today will help us as physicians treat members of the LatinX community in a more understanding manner—and will lead to better outcomes in my community. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been seeing COVID-19 patients, and as a Latina I have been acutely aware of the increased numbers of LatinX patients we were seeing in the hospital and their increased rates of mortality nationwide. Their stories have remained with me. Many of these patients did not have the luxury of staying home to work remotely. Many of them were frontline workers. Many of them could not afford to not work—as they did not qualify for COVID relief funds. For Financial reasons housing arrangements often promoted spread as many were forced to share housing to save money. Finally, we need to acknowledge the role language barriers have played during this pandemic along with pre-existing hesitancy towards the health care system. During the pandemic I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several town halls for Spanish speakers and was able to hear their concerns. Many common fears were echoed including: 1. Fear of being deported if they were undocumented. 2. Why are Latinos being affected more? Today we will be reviewing the statistics showing how COVID-19 has affected the LatinX community. Dr. Marco Ramos, a historian of Latin America and a psychiatry resident at the Yale School of Medicine will give us a historical perspective on the reasons behind hesitancy within the LatinX community. And finally, we will discuss with our community panel (Katia Daley, Husky 4 Immigrant Campaign, and Sandra Trigueros, Semilla Collective) their experiences during this pandemic.