Public Health

What We Can Learn About Resilience from Indigenous Leaders

Germaine Omish-Lucero’s ancestors were taken from their homes and forced to build California’s Mission San Luis Rey de Francia—a mission in what is now Oceanside, California—about 200 years ago. There, they were exposed to diseases such as measles, to which they had no immunity.

As a new tragedy—the coronavirus pandemic—grips the globe, what can we learn from indigenous leaders like Omish-Lucero about resilience?

For Californians Without Water Access, Coronavirus Adds Another Layer of Struggle

As Californians across the state shelter at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, an estimated 1 million of them lack access to clean drinking water, one of the most fundamental resources for maintaining health and hygiene.

Many of these residents are concentrated in rural parts of the state, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, where dozens of small public water systems fail to meet safety standards.

Community Groups Serve as Pandemic Information Lifeline to Non-English Speakers

Across the state, groups that serve immigrant and ethnically diverse populations are scrambling to meet a sudden surge in demand for coronavirus-related information in languages other than English.

While state and local authorities do provide translations of some information, particularly in more widely-spoken languages such as Spanish, there remain huge gaps in what is available, particularly given the speed at which news and policies around the coronavirus are developing.

Pandemic Underscores the Plight of Undocumented Californians

California is home to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Now, in the unprecedented economic and health emergency of COVID-19, undocumented Californians are among the most vulnerable.

Some immigrant advocacy groups are calling on the state to extend unemployment insurance and the earned income tax credit to undocumented workers to cushion the economic blow from job losses.

Coronavirus Disrupts Services, Heightens Risk for Medically Fragile Children

Even though children in general are less likely than adults to develop serious illness from the coronavirus, that may not be the case for kids with compromised immune systems and complex health care needs, medical experts said.

Still, families of children with complex health care needs are, in some ways, more prepared than others to handle the threat of coronavirus infection. Hand washing, disinfecting and caution about venturing outside are already a reality.

As Coronavirus Spreads, Asian Americans Report Spike in Racism

As coronavirus spreads throughout the United States, acts of racism and xenophobia toward Asian Americans have also increased.

According to a new report prepared by faculty members at San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department, there were more than 1,000 reported cases of xenophobia toward Chinese communities and Chinese Americans between January 28 and February 24—a rate of 37 known cases per day.

Coronavirus Forces Low-Wage Workers to Make Difficult Choices

As public health officials call on Californians to help stop the spread of the virus, many low-wage workers are being forced to make potentially life-threatening choices: whether to heed the precautions and lose income they rely on, or to show up for work anyway in order to put food on their tables and pay their rent.

These choices could be critical because low-wage earners often have jobs involving interactions with the public, such as serving food, caring for the elderly or cleaning hotel rooms.

X Close

Subscribe to Our Mailing List