Bakersfield College discusses public health issues in Latino communities during COVID-19 – The Renegade Rip
Bakersfield College hosted a webinar on March 23rd during the COVID-19 pandemic to answer questions about public health issues in Latino communities.
The webinar watchers were Charles Daramola, professor and program director of the BC Public Health Program, and Isis Forney, a graduate of the BC School of Nursing. The panelists were Reyna Olaguez, Executive Director of South Kern Sol, Emanuel Alcala, Deputy Director of the Central Institute, Jennifer Martinez, PH.D. Candidate for Portland State University and Diana Tellefson, Executive Director of the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF).
Forney asked the panelist why there is so much suspicion about COVID-19 in the Hispanic community.
Olaguez explained the reason for this is that they didn’t have the money to help them during the COVID-19 crisis.
Olaguez said the United Against COVID-19 Coalition applied for a county grant to help provide more supplies to Latinos struggling with the pandemic. Kern County’s manager, Zack Scrivner, declined the proposal and was unable to provide many services to needy minorities as a result.
“As a result, I really feel like we lost a lot of lives because a lot of people didn’t have the range they needed,” said Olaguez.
Martinez added that another reason why there is so much suspicion among Latino communities is because of horror. “Fear of public charges and being apologized for reliving money. Local governments need to figure out how to regain that trust. “
Tellefson said there have also been questions and concerns about whether legal status and insurance coverage are needed to maintain the resources for COVID-19 such as vaccines. According to Olaguez, “everyone qualifies for the vaccine regardless of documentation status.”
Another question was whether there will be resources for people working in the fields, in factories, or other jobs that require close contact, and for people who have been laid off or laid off.
Olaguez Informs The United COVID-19 Collison has created a resource guide. “It encompasses all of the resources available to our communities and helps deliver them door-to-door to our communities,” added Olaguez.
She also stated that they will restart the harvest program on April 1st. This program is aimed at people affected by the pandemic and unable to work. They will provide financial assistance and food supplies to Latinos regardless of their citizenship status.
One of the final questions asked was why brown and black communities were hardest hit by the virus. Alcala explained that the reason is not that they are more likely to contract the virus, but because of health reasons. “People of color tend to have high blood pressure and diabetes, and the chance of death is much greater,” said Alcala.
The webinar ended with Daramola thanking all panelists and informing everyone that he hoped they could have similar discussions in the near future.