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COVID 19 Effect on Health and Economic Issues for Latinos Essay

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Latino families in USA and COVID 19

Latino families in the US are being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic scare that has put most of the country on lockdown for more than two months. The problems that Latinos face are numerous: on the one hand, the virus is impacting the health of this community in a big way, with 16.6% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths being among Latinos, according to data from the CDC (Despres). But they are also being hit economically as the lockdown is affecting their ability to do business, which is largely dependent upon contractual work, restaurant work, hotel work and other service-related jobs (Manuel et al.). Because the service industry has been decimated by the lockdown, Latino communities are losing jobs, getting pay cuts, and being sidelined from work. This has created an additional hardship for the community on top of the health scare that is affecting them more than most other communities.

The economic implications of the coronavirus on the US are going to be big. So far some 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment (Tappe). This is an astounding number, and indicates that the economy of the nation is being severely upset by the virus. However, Latinos are being affected the most because “before the global pandemic, Latino people in the United States represented an overwhelming majority of workers in low-wage jobs and were subject to the highest number of workplace fatalities” (Labor Council for Latin American Advancement 1). Low wage jobs are the first to go when the economy crashes, as businesses shut down. This means that the Latino community is now being pushed down in a major way.

Latino families now are having to band together more than ever before because there is simply no alternative for them. Fortunately, these communities are already very tight knit and supportive of one another—but that presents a problem now because of the issue of social distancing. Latino communities love to get together at parks and churches and socialize, and the fears of a pandemic have made this harder to do, so it is an additional blow to their social support networks and systems. That blow adds to the stress that is being experienced by this population.

Latino families have always had it difficult in the US even though they embrace the idea of opportunity and the American Dream. The Bracero Program during WWII that took advantage of Latino labor for years even after the war is one such example of the kind of injustices that Latinos have experienced. However, most Latino communities are still very grateful to be in America and they view it as a good here or at least better than other countries.

The Latino culture is typically Catholic, as most Latino populations were impacted by the Spanish Catholic missionaries following the discovery of the New World by Columbus—so there is a deep cultural and religious tie among Latino populations. Even though not all younger generations of Latino communities take up the mantle of the faith, there is…

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…colleges are going to online formats, which means that more people are going to be taking classes from home. This will put strain on them as it is not easy to work and study from home, and it means they may have to find alternative venues where they can work on school. This will mean coming up with extra cash, and with money flows already tight, it means that Latino families are being squeezed on all sides.

In conclusion, the Latino family during the COVID 19 crisis is being more negatively impacted by the scare than many other populations, primarily because every facet of their lives is being hit during this time. They are very sociable people, and they work in the industries that have been hit hardest. They tend to live together, but it is hard for some of them to get the kind of benefits they need in order to weather these economic storms. If businesses remain closed, hotels do not open back up, construction work falls to depression-era levels, and schools stay in an online-only format, these families will have a very difficult time getting back on their feet and finding a financial silver lining to any of this. Their dependency upon the upper classes to have disposable income is the Achilles heel in their approach to work. Their cultural traditions are also being pressed, and so it will be difficult for them to access their social support systems during this crisis, and if those systems remain closed indefinitely, the health of these…

Sample Source(s) Used


Despres, Cliff. “Coronavirus Case Rates and Death Rates for Latinos in the UnitedStates.” Salud America, 20 Apr 2020.

Garcia, J. & Hellerstein, E. (2020). Undocumented workers face obstacles qualifying for benefits during the pandemic. Retrieved from

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “The Impact of COVID 19 on Latinos in the US.”

Manuel, Jens M. et al. “U.S. Latinos among hardest hit by pay cuts, job losses due to coronavirus.” PewResearch, 3 Apr 2020.

Tappe, Anneken. “30 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims since mid-March.” CNN, 30 Apr 2020.

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