Last week, President Trump continued making headlines after testing positive for COVID-19, and now that we’re closer to winter, infections are slowly crawling up across the country. This is dire on college campuses, where more than 130,000 cases have been tracked to date, according to a report.   

The coronavirus is causing a “historic decimation” of Latinos, one expert said, pointing to health disparities that target Latinos. This week’s “5 Essential Updates” for our gente include what these health effects mean for us in the long term, updates on the paycheck protection program, and Latino films to enjoy at home. 

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1. Historic decimation — The virus is taking away a whole generation of Latino “mothers, fathers and brothers and sisters” — in their 40s, 50s and 60s. “Hispanic male, Hispanic female, black female, black male, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic”. This is how Dr. Peter Hotez described people who have died of COVID-19. 

2. Immigration office hit — We’re in a pandemic but people in the U.S. are still waiting to get their citizenship, and depending on immigration offices. One location in Florida closed temporarily when a worker tested positive for COVID-19, but now it’s back open and Latinos are able to proceed with socially-distanced citizenship ceremonies

3. The PPP failed many Latinos — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program to boost small businesses and provide support. Millions of business owners applied for money, but many had their applications denied without explanation, including 13% of Latino business owners.

4. Pandemic brings new chances — Lupita’s Corner Market is a family-owned market in Los Angeles that strives to create healthy options for the community. Like many other small businesses, they’ve lost a significant amount of their revenue during the pandemic. They’re adapting, in part by promoting offerings on social media and partnering with farmer’s markets to give away free groceries 🥕🍏🍇

5. — Latino films for quarantine — Since most movie theaters are still closed, it’s a good time to get acquainted with Latino films from home. For National Hispanic Heritage Month, The New York Times put together a list of must-watch films from Latino protagonists. Their picks include the 2020 documentary on astrologer Walter Mercado, ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’, a 2017 documentary of activist Dolores Huerta, ‘Dolores’, and the 2012 coming-of-age indie film ‘Mosquita y Mari’. 

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Luna Olavarría Gallegos (she/her/hers) is a Content Writer for Pulso. She's a storyteller working at the intersections of culture and global politics, and has been published in The Guardian, The FADER and Remezcla. Based in New York, she’s originally from a bicultural home in New Mexico. 📧: [email protected]