Latino communities are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic


Chicago – Like African Americans, it’s the nation’s Latinos disproportionately affected through the corona virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Latinos account for more than 27% of COVID-19 deaths in the areas under consideration Virus hotspots, even though they make up 18% of the population. It is also more likely than other groups that they will not be able to work from home, which increases the health risk.

Chicago’s Jose Gonzalez is a first-generation Mexican American, one of the country’s 60 million Latinos.

“My family has brought me so far forward that I can’t afford to sit there and do nothing,” he told CBS News.

He used to work two jobs, but lost one when shutting down COVID-19. His lifeline is now boiling in a hotel that houses COVID patients.

“We don’t have the advantage that I should just stay at home … and I feel that this is every Latino at the moment,” said Gonzalez.

Jose Gonzalez speaks to CBS News.

Gonzalez is among the 84% of Latinos who cannot work from home – most in each group.

About half of Latino households have seen job losses or cuts during the pandemic, and have saved $ 500 or less.

Working Family Solidarity organizer Leone Jose Bicchieri said that Latinos tend to be in low-wage and now high-risk jobs like that Food industry.

“We get calls from a lot of people who don’t know what to do,” said Bicchieri. “You cry. You are desperate.”

“We are talking about food processors, grocery stores, bread makers and cleaning companies of all kinds,” said Bicchieri. “Many of them balance again, ‘on the one hand I don’t want the crisis to get sick. On the other hand I don’t want the crisis to be homeless because I can’t pay rent and I can’t buy food.'”

A worker from the Pilsen Food Pantry saw how he helped a resident.

CBS News

The need is great. In Chicago’s Mexican district of Pilsen, a socially distant line wraps around the block in front of the Pilsen Food Pantry.

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa, a general practitioner who opened the pantry two years ago, said demand rose 45%.

“This tells us that people are really marginalized. When we talk about the 50% of people who live from paycheck to paycheck, they are [here] at the moment, “said Figueroa.” These are people who cannot afford to take the children home from school and feed them. “

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa

CBS News

Figueroa, who also treats COVID patients in a local homeless shelter, said that Latinos, like African-Americans, have health problems that affect their coronavirus results.

“Latinos actually have a higher rate of diabetes than any other ethnic group in the United States. About 16% are diabetic. This is a significant problem. It is also a risk factor for complications from COVID,” she said.

In their pantry, most people are in line, including Latino Immigrants without papers who don’t qualify for unemployment or the Federal incentive. People like Rosa, who is undocumented and has lived in the United States for 20 years. She said she was desperate. She has two children and is two months behind on rent. Your debt is now $ 2,000.

She told CBS News in Spanish that she couldn’t sleep because of the stress. She takes it one day after another because she knows that nothing will be promised tomorrow.

Rosa speaks to Adriana Diaz from CBS News.

Bicchieri, the organizer of the work, said that regardless of where people stand on immigration, undocumented immigrants need protection in this pandemic.

“Let’s put the ideological discussion down for a few months. Let’s get back to it. It’s really important,” he said. “Right now I want to be safe. I want my family to be safe. So I want Eva to be safe. I want Anna to be safe. I want Maria and Jose to be safe because then I’m safer. “

“You won’t make anyone safer if a portion of the population – let alone between 6 and 12 million undocumented people – gets sick. Because then you’ll get sick. Your grandma will get sick,” Bicchieri said.