As a result of risks and subsequent health disparities, refugees have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. Further, language and cultural barriers make navigating the health care system difficult. Writes Bhuwan: “Imagine trying to make sense of directions in a language you don’t understand for which button to press on the phone to speak with a nurse.”
The pandemic affected businesses and tested families. Upendra D. owned a liquor store in Pittsburgh but was forced to sell it when the government classified his work as non-essential. Gopal A. writes that his job continued, but his wife’s did not. When Ganesh G. lost his grandfather to COVID, he relied on traditional values of “self-respect and due diligence” for strength. Despite the pandemic's risks, Hari C.’s family gathered to celebrate traditional Hindu festivals.
“Maybe because of the experience of a tough life in the refugee camp for 20 years,” Gopal writes, “I am always hopeful, optimistic, and resilient.”
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