Summer Reading Contest Winner, Week 4: On ‘Many Latinos Couldn’t Stay Home. Now Virus Cases Are Soaring in Their Communities.’

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Marcella Rodio, 16, from River Dell High School in Oradell, New Jersey chose an article headlined “Many Latinos Couldn’t Stay Home. Now Virus Cases Are Soaring in Their Communitiesand wrote:

Learning that Latinos are making up a disproportionate and large number of coronavirus cases in the US, makes my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. It makes me afraid.

Latinos are fighters. We’re strong willed, determined, and hard workers. We constantly persevere through adversity and discrimination. I know that we as a community will somehow make it through this pandemic alright, but it still hurts to see us struggle. This article states that “sheltering in place never happened for many Latino families with members who work in industries that never shut down,” which is true at least, for my own family.

My dad owns a Dry Cleaners, a business that has been deemed essential in my state. His employees are like family to me. We’re connected through our heritage and through the language we share. It’s scary to say goodbye to my father each morning, knowing he and his employees are exposed and vulnerable to COVID-19, and that some of them don’t even have easy access to healthcare. It’s even more painful to help my father make hand sewed masks for everyone in his shop, because I want my dad home, safe with me instead.

Latino workers, like this article states, keep a “bare-bones economy running.” And despite that, I feel like we’re somehow forgotten. My dad and his employees don’t have the luxury to shelter in place. Who helps them? Quien nos ayuda?

In alphabetical order by the writer’s first name.

Amy Zhang Liu on “Disney World Draws Excitement and Incredulity as Reopening Nears”

Elizabeth Hirschfeld on “‘Gone With the Wind’ and Controversy: What You Need to Know”

Isabelle Qi on “Should We Be More Pessimistic?”

Juliette on “Reconsidering the Past, One Statue at a Time”

Marissa on “Why I’ve Stopped Telling People I’m Not Chinese”

Nina on “Aunt Jemima Is Gone. Can We Finally End All Racist Branding?”

Radha Zutshi Opubor on “I’ve Protested for Racial Justice. Do I Have to Post on Social Media?”

Rebecca on “Call a Thing a Thing”

Seyoung on “How an Island Oasis Became the Navy’s Coronavirus Epicenter”

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