by rafael on Sep 28 2020

-- by Arelis R. Hernandez, The Washington Post:

Oralia Soto had pain in her lungs, but being the sole caregiver for her 12-year-old diabetic great-granddaughter left no time to see a doctor.

When Soto, 87, finally sought medical care, she was critically ill with the coronavirus and needed to be put on a ventilator. She died days later, one of 15 members of a large Latino family in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley who fell ill with or succumbed to the virus.

“It is just too much to handle,” said Brenda Benitez, Soto’s niece. “I feel numb inside. I just pray.”

The novel coronavirus is devastating Latino communities across the country, from California’s Imperial Valley to suburban Boston and Puerto Rico. Workers at Midwestern meatpacking plants and on construction sites in Florida are getting sick and dying of a virus that is exacerbating historic inequalities in communities where residents, many of whom are “essential” workers, struggle to access health care. The undocumented are largely invisible.

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