U.S. immigrants are heavily affected by disasters, including pandemics. This study aimed to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted American immigrants and their communities.
During the spring of 2020, researchers created eight online focus groups. Participants had to meet specific criteria to participate. In total, 45 immigrants ages 18 and over took part in the study. The focus groups maintained anonymity and transcribed the conversations. The researchers analyzed the content, discovering the effects COVID-19 had on these groups.
The researchers discovered that immigrant communities had faced unique challenges. They not only dealt with anxieties caused by their immigration status and their family’s financial reliance on them back home, but they also dealt with the challenges of childcare, job status, and interpersonal relationships.
This study discovered that immigrant communities banded together and drew upon their experiences and social networks to respond to COVID-19. These populations provided community health education and financial support for both the community at large and those back home.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted immigrant populations due to the newly-imposed and standard burdens of being an immigrant in America. However, this study also illustrated how these communities’ unique perspectives supported their ability to cope. Experts can leverage the connections immigrant populations have to their culture and community in the future as a way to lessen the impact pandemics have on these communities .
Source: Maduka-Ezeh, A., Ezeh, I. T., Bagozzi, B. E., Horney, J. A., Nwegbu, S., & Trainor, J. E. (2021). US Immigrants’ Experiences with the Covid-19 Pandemic- Findings from Online Focus Groups. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 14(1). https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/jhdrp/vol14/iss1/3