The COVIDLatino.org project brings together a collective of academic institutions, community-based organizations, researchers, advocates, and artists to create culturally-tailored and empirically-based COVID-19 information that is relevant and timely.
Its website provides several informational videos, and pointers to a multitude of other resources. Journalist Cynthia Silva wrote,
The campaign was spearheaded by Gilberto Lopez, an assistant professor at Arizona State University School of Transborder Studies… The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately hit Latinos in the country, who have accounted for nearly 30 percent of the Covid cases and nearly 20 percent of deaths.
Another of the many activists connected with the project, creating culturally relevant art, is Lalo Alcaraz, who has twice been a Pulitzer finalist in the editorial cartoon category. A tribute to his creativity appeared in the academic journal Prose Studies, where Jessica Rutherford said,
Because of the social artivism in which this work engages, it serves as a powerful shaping device, helping followers to process and cope with difficult realities.
Among other topics, Alcaraz addresses how vaccine hesitancy worsens the medical crisis. There are myths that need debunking, and for that chore, no one is more qualified than a humorist. He told remezcla.com, in all seriousness,
I wish I could talk to every one of those Latinos who are still hesitant about getting the vaccine. We’re trying to combat that attitude some people have where they’re like, “I’m strong, so I don’t need it.”
The impetus behind vaccine resistance is both emotional and rational. This is not to imply that most, or even many, people in a given population live in fear of the law. But as journalist Nada Hassanein phrased it in USA Today:
Fear of deportation can be an issue for Latinos in the U.S. without permission, though the Department of Homeland Security says vaccination sites will be considered off limits for routine enforcement.
That’s as may be. But an important point here is that even people whose documentation is in exquisite, immaculate order, are affected by an overwhelming mountain of regulations and suspicions. People who feel like a sword is hanging over their heads might even neglect their health to avoid attracting official attention. This is only one reason why the outreach efforts of such groups as COVIDLatino.org are so vital.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “About COVIDLatino.org,” undated
Source: “A Latino cartoonist is using his art to encourage vaccinations,” NBCNews.com, 08/05/21
Source: “Latinx political cartooning during the COVID-19 global pandemic: coping and processing via Lalo Alcaraz’s and Eric J. Garcia’s social artivism,” TAndFOnline.com, 09/15/20
Source: “Lalo Alcaraz Gets Creative in Cartoons Meant to Encourage People to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine,” Remezcla.com, 08/17/21
Source: “ Amid climbing COVID cases and community efforts, racial disparity in vaccinations appears to be narrowing,” USAToday.com, 08/05/21
Image by Lalo Alcaraz (@laloalcaraz) used with permission of the artist.