A Latino family in Long Beach lost three loved ones to COVID 19 in just three weeks.
Mrs. Valerie Levario said her father perished on December 10, her aunt on December 23, and her husband, Armando Padilla, on December 29.
He said that it is a totally devastating experience, especially because of the impossibility of being close to each of his loved ones in the last moments, of holding their hands when saying goodbye.
The woman does not know how her father, Fabián Levario, got sick, or how her aunt, Deborah Levario, or her husband got infected.
Their deaths are not related to end-of-year gatherings, as the family avoided them to prevent precisely the risk.
These are deaths that have been added to another 5,000 of Latinos in California in the last month.
The reporter was going to talk that she went to about ten hospitals when the crying interrupted her. He wanted to recover over and over again, but couldn’t. His impact was greater for having repeatedly seen the devastation of the pandemic, which disproportionately affects Latinos in California.
As of this Tuesday, more than 30, o00 people who were victims of COVID 19 died in California and half of them are Latino, according to data from the California Department of Health. Some 5,000 Latino deaths have been added in less than a month.
The second-lowest ethnic group in the pandemic in California is white residents, but their total is just over 9,000 people.
Latinos die 22 percent more than Californians combined.
41 percent of all people who have perished during the pandemic in California are family members who earn less than $ 40,000 annually.
The death rate for Latinos in the pandemic is 80.5 per 100,000 residents, while for all other ethnic groups together it is 66 deaths per 100,000 residents.
In Los Angeles the disparity is worse. The Latino death rate from COVID 19 is 117 people per 100,000 residents. Comparatively only 64 whites or Anglo-Saxons die from the same percentage of people.
All of this is official data from the state and county of Los Angeles.
They are socioeconomic disparities that Latinos face and that are reflected in the impact that the pandemic has on the community, explained to La Opinion the deputy director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Dr. Seciah Aquino.
“Unfortunately our community has always received less financial support to preventively take care of their health, for example with health programs like Medical,” said the doctor.
Added to this is that more Latinos than any other group are “essential workers who are economically dependent on their work; This means that if we stop going to work, we may not be able to feed our family, ”according to Dr. Aquino.
Without help from the state or the federal government, “we have to continue working but not only for ourselves, because if Latinos do not work, who is going to do it in the stores, who would do it in the fields, in health services ”, exemplified the doctor.
But, aside from this, the California medical community “has to regain the trust of Latinos and African Americans,” because being communities that have limited access to health services, even in the midst of pandemic are distant.
“When a community sees that their neighborhood doctor, whom they trust, is interested in getting vaccinated and is going to get the COVID 19 vaccine, it’s easier for the community to think in terms of ‘if it’s good for him, it also has to be good for us ”.
Dr. Aquino explained that what is best in California is to include all people in health systems, regardless of their immigration status, income level or area of residence, “so that we are better prepared and healthier not only in the face of this pandemic , but before any health contingency ”.
He warned that a health plan that integrates everyone should not see the Latino community as if they were doing it a favor, since “we produce some of the greatest wealth in the country and in the state”; for example, California agriculture translates to more than $ 50 billion annually.
Aquino recalled that the purchasing power of Latinos is 1.5 trillion dollars [en inglés trillones] in the country; “Only the undocumented people contribute $ 11,640 million to the national economy and $ 1,550 million to the state.”
“It is good to recognize that strength to use it together as a community for our health,” said Dr. Aquino.