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BIMI Affiliates on COVID-19

BIMI Affiliates on COVID-19

This is a compilation of COVID-19-related podcasts, writings, and resources by BIMI Affiliates. Please consult the CDC for up-to-date medical and public health information.

Latest IGS Poll Finds Major Disparities of COVID-19 Across Major Racial and Ethnic Subgroups in CA 

"Results of the latest Berkeley IGS Poll, completed among a large sample of over 8,000 California registered voters, uncover large racial and ethnic disparities in the coronavirus’ impact on the lives of Californians.  The most significant relates to the impact the virus is having on people of color, and especially Latinos who are Spanish speakers. According to the poll, a majority of the state’s registered voters (56%) report that the virus is posing a major threat to their own or their family’s health and another 42% say it poses a major threat to their family’s financial situation. 'Overall, the findings show the disproportionate burden that communities of color in California shoulder as they and their families face serious health threats, as they in large part form the skeleton crews that keep the state’s service sector economy going during the pandemic,' observed BIMI Affiliate and Associate Professor Cristina Mora."

"Inoculate Against Racism" in the Pandemic Roundtable from California Magazine

BIMI Affiliate Prof. Choy contributed the piece, “Inoculate Against Racism,” in California Magazine, Summer 2020, as part of the roundtable, “What Comes After the Pandemic? Berkeley experts explain what will change—and what should.”



Prof. Catherine Ceniza Choy in "Epicenter of the Epicenter," July 21, 2020

BIMI Affiliate Prof. Choy contributed to an epistolary project, “Epicenter of the Epicenter,” in Independent Curators International Journal, July 21, 2020, with curator PJ Gubatina Policarpio, part of Reports from the Field’s perspectives from curators from around the world and reflections on the impact of the global pandemic on their lives.


Raids on Immigrant Communitites During the Pandemic Threaten the Country's Public Health

BIMI Affiliate Seth Holmes and Miriam Magana of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine co-wrote an article in the American Journal of Public Health entitled "Raids on Immigrant Communities During the Pandemic Threaten the County's Public Health." The article specifically focuses on how immigrant raids, detention, and deportation during the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the public health of all. It negatively impacts us all by 1) violating public health recommendations, 2) sowing distrust in public health institutions, 3) disobeying shelter in place, 4) aggravating equipment shortages, and 5) deteriorating social determinants. 

Immigration Law and COVID-19

BIMI Affiliate Leti Volpp delivered a presentation for Berkeley Law on June 22 on the topic of immigration law and COVID-19.
Description: "In the name of containing a public health crisis, the United States has enacted sweeping restrictions on immigration - as tweeted by President Trump in March, "THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!" This talk will discuss how governmental responses to Covid-19 in both the United States and around the globe have dramatically impacted both immigration and immigrants."


Who Belongs? Podcast - "Racism and COVID-19: The historical, political, and social foundations"

In this episode of the Othering and Belonging Institute's Who Belongs? podcast, we hear from a three-guest panel of Berkeley faculty (including BIMI Affiliate Professor Catherine Ceniza Choy) who provide various perspectives on the different forms of racism we’ve been witnessing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear about the experiences of Asian Americans who are facing a surge in hate crimes, the disparate impacts on black and brown communities in terms of mortality rates, and how politicians are using the crisis to engage in racial fear-mongering. But the panelists don’t focus so much on the incidents themselves as on the structures that have created the conditions for these forms of racism to emerge with such force.


NY Times: Immigrants Afraid to Seek Medical Care for Coronavirus

According to the New York Times, current policies, such as the Public Charge Rule, discourage immigrants from coming forward to seek health services and could hamper efforts to contain the pandemic. For a deeper look into how the new Public Charge Rule will impact the Bay Area, read BIMI's Policy Report "Responding to the Public Charge Rule: Immigrant Well-being and Access to Services." Additionally, according to findings in another recent BIMI Policy Report, Bay Area immigrant communities face substantial barriers to adequate healthcare and other social services.


ICE Agents are Still Performing Raids -- and Using Precious N95 Masks to Do So

BIMI Affiliate, Seth Holmes, co-authored an article related to the pandemic and immigration in the Guardian




In a Defunded Health System, Doctors and Nurses Suffer Near-Impossible Conditions

BIMI  Affiliate, Seth Holmes, shares the experiences of many doctors and nurses trying to care for their patients despite critical shortages. Holmes and co-author Liza Buchbinder show that when our leaders de-fund the health system, millions of doctors, nurses, patients, and families are put at risk.



COVID-19's Unequal Toll on Black Americans

BIMI Affiliate, Dr. Tina Sacks, Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare and faculty chair for the Center for Research on Social Change at ISSI, speaks to Berkeley News in a Q&A on the disproportionate health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Black Americans, especially in urban areas.


Who Belongs? Podcast - ICE raids, farmworkers, & the COVID-19 crisis

The Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley's most recent Who Belongs? podcast episode looks at the reality facing undocumented immigrants and migrant farmworkers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three researchers, including BIMI Affiliate Seth Holmes, discuss their recent and upcoming articles that look at ICE raids targeting immigrant communities despite shelter-in-place orders, as well as the conditions of farmworkers who are putting themselves at risk in order to keep the country fed.


ICE Needs to Stand Down - For Everyone's Good

BIMI Affiliate, Seth Holmes, co-authored an opinion piece in The Globe Post explaining that "when agents dressed in 'Police/ICE' jackets show up at apartment complexes... the highly visible presence of ICE greatly amplifies undocumented immigrants’ fear that seeking needed medical care – including testing for COVID-19 – will make them targets for arrest and deportation and jeopardize any future chance of getting a green card". 


COVID-19 is blind to legal status, but can disproportionately hurt immigrants

BIMI Executive Director, Jasmijn Slootjes, and Founding Director, Irene Bloemraad, published a commentary on helping immigrants amid COVID-19. They highlight BIMI's Mapping Spatial Inequality project as a crucial research initiative in producing and disseminating data about where at-risk immigrant populations live and identifying gaps in healthcare access.


Berkeley Conversations: COVID-19

Across the UC Berkeley campus, researchers are rising to meet the complex challenges of COVID-19 even as the crisis generates waves of news and information that can be confusing and contradictory at times. In response, the University of California, Berkeley is launching a new online video series, “Berkeley Conversations: Covid-19”, to connect our leading experts with the public they serve, and each other. Through Q&A’s, seminars, and panel discussions, faculty from a wide range of disciplines—from epidemiology to economics to the computing and data now undergirding their work—will share what they know, and what they are learning. BIMI Affiliate Professor Cristina Mora speaks about structural racism on June 26 and the Institute for Governmental Studies' California poll findings on May 27.

BIMI Webinar: Health Care Access, Service Delivery, and Youth Civic Engagement in the Central Valley during the COVID-19 Pandemic

California’s agricultural Central Valley has long lagged behind the San Francisco and Los Angeles regions in its capacity to provide adequate health and other services to immigrants and low-income communities of color. These disparities are particularly striking during this COVID-19 pandemic, as low-income residents seek access to health care, legal assistance, and other resources. This webinar will share new maps that illustrate the spatial mismatch between where immigrants live and vital services are provided. At the same time, youth civic engagement and organizing efforts are seeking to make local government institutions more accountable to the communities least supported by the safety net. The presentation will feature Professor Irene Bloemraad from UC Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, Veronica Terriquez from the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation, and Central Valley youth organizers.

Berkeley IGS Poll Finds Broad Support for Protecting Farmworkers in COVID-19 Context

The latest Berkeley IGS Poll finds broad public support for protecting farmworkers and providing access to paid sick leave, medical benefits, and full replacement wages if they fall sick with COVID-19. However, these views vary by region, partisanship, trust in the federal government, and attitudes toward immigrants. Between April 16 and 20, 2020 the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) and California Initiative for Health Equity & Action (Cal-IHEA), polled 8,800 registered voters about COVID-19. While the majority of employed Californians can work from home, farmworkers continue to work to maintain the country's food supply during a period of critical need. California farmworkers harvest over a third of U.S. vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts. However, they remain economically and medically vulnerable to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Structural-Environmental Model of Alcohol and Substance-Related Sexual HIV Risk in Latino Migrant Day-Laborers

BIMI  affiliate, Kurt Organista, Professor of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, co-authored a recent publication entitled, "A Structural-Environmental Model of Alcohol and Substance-Related Sexual HIV Risk in Latino Migrant Day Laborers." Dr. Organista and colleagues present a structural-environmental model of alcohol and substance-related sexual HIV risk in 344 Latino migrant day laborers, participants in a cross-sectional survey, and is tested using structural equation modeling. As the environmental factors, discrimination and working conditions were indirectly related to sexual risk through the distress related factor, problem drinking, and through the protective factor, contact with family in the country of origin. More specifically, as discrimination and working conditions worsen, contact with family decreases, problem drinking increases, and sexual risk increases. Implications for multi-level interventions are discussed. See also BIMI Affiliate, Nadia Almasalkhi's policy brief expanding on Dr. Kurt Organista's work entitled, "A Public Health Crisis in the Shadows."

IGS Poll Finds California Voters Strongly Divided About President Trump's Attribution of COVID-19 to China

As the coronavirus has spread across the U.S., a surge in anti-Asian rhetoric and hate crimes has occurred. Asians have historically been blamed for being disease carriers. According to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, this has led to over 1,500 reported coronavirus-related racist incidents against Asians in one month since the group began tracking cases in March. Between April 16 and 20, 2020, the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) and the California Initiative for Health Equity & Action (Cal-IHEA), polled 8,800 registered voters about the racialized language President Trump uses when referring to COVID-19. Overall, Californians who approve of the President are not only more likely to blame the Chinese government for the pandemic and shortage of medical supplies but they are also more likely to agree with calling the coronavirus the ‘China virus.’

Structural Competency Curriculum Available

The Structural Competency Working Group, sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, has published its training materials. "Structural Competency: Curriculum for Medical Students, Residents, and Interprofessional Teams on the Structural Factors That Produce Health Disparities," along with a discussion of the implementation and outcomes, was published on the MedEd Portal and is available for free download here. The co-authors include BCSM affiliates Joshua Neff, (BIMI Affiliate) Seth M. Holmes, Kelly R. Knight, Ariana Thompson-Lastad, Laura Duncan, Nimish Saxena, Michael J. Harvey, and Nicholas Nelson.


Survey on COVID-19 Impact on Refugees and Refugee-Serving Organizations

The Critical Refugee Studies Collective, including BIMI Affiliate Khatarya Um and ISSI Graduate Student in Residence Shakirah Hudani, is conducting a survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees, their families and communities, refugee-serving organizations and support groups. Please disseminate information about the survey through your networks - the deadline is July 1Questions? contact Professor Khatharya Um at umk@berkeley.eduLink to survey for refugee-serving organizations or support groups. Link to survey for refugees.

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