This four-part series for “Only in America” features conversations with public health experts, science writers and more to understand how communities are responding to the pandemic and the systemic challenges that it has shed a light on.
Part 1: Laura Spinney
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving herd immunity won’t be possible, Laura Spinney argues, unless we prioritize immigrant communities.
Ali talked to Laura, a science journalist and author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, about why protecting ourselves is impossible without protecting the most vulnerable:
Part 2: Valentina Pereda
Prioritizing vaccine access for vulnerable communities is critical to a successful pandemic response – but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Ali is joined by Valentina Pereda, a communications expert and documentary filmmaker based in LA. She tells Ali about her work tracking and combatting misinformation in the Latino community, particularly around COVID-19:
Part 3: Dr. Luz Garcini
What can the undocumented experience teach us about how to support vulnerable communities through the grief and trauma of the past year?
Ali talks to Dr. Luz Garcini, a nonresident fellow at the Center for the United States and Mexico, part of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, about how we build a pipeline that meets immigrant health needs, and how the new administration can help break the cycle of mistrust and fear that leaves immigrants more vulnerable:
Part 4: Maria Ramos
Ensuring safe, equitable vaccination campaigns is a challenge for communities across the country. But the rollout for an immigrant in New York City can look quite different than it does for one in small-town Iowa.
Ali talks to Maria Ramos, a city council member in Storm Lake, Iowa. Maria discusses how her small-but-diverse town has responded to the pandemic, and how she sees her role as a leader in the immigrant community and the town as a whole: