Entertainment

Nurses Are Keeping Hospitals Running And Patients Safe And They Deserve All The Praise

Indya Moore is like the rest of us. They are in self-isolation because of lockdown measures across the globe. Like millions of people living in the U.S., Moore is personally connected to the COVID-19 crisis because they have family members who are on the frontlines fighting this virus in the hospitals.

Indya Moore wants all essential workers to feel the love during this health crisis.

Health care workers, nursing home staff, grocery store workers, police officers, truck drivers, and so many other people are still working day-to-day to keep society moving. These people are willingly putting themselves in the line of fire to fulfill their duties.

When it comes to nursing, women make up 88 percent of the U.S. nursing workforce. In New York City, Asian, Black, and Latino people make up 70 percent of the essential worker population ranging from transportation to health care workers, according to Buzzfeed News. New York is currently the location of the largest and deadliest outbreak in the world.

For some people, the post is speaking directly to their experience and families.

Credit: giraso1_ / Instagram

Millions of Americans are continuing to go to work to make sure that people can have the food and essential services they need. For some, they have had to fight to get the necessary health precautions from their employers. Workers at Target, Whole Foods, Amazon, Walmart, and more retailers coordinated a major sickout protest to demand changes to their working conditions to make it safer.

Health care workers in New York City are at a much higher risk of contracting the virus than their counterparts around the world.

New York City has reported more than 177,000 cases of COVID-19, more than most countries. NYC has a population of about 8.4 million meaning that 1 in every 47 people have tested positive for COVID-19. At its peak, 573 people died in one day because of COVID-19 in New York City. Currently, there have been more than 13,000 deaths of COVID-19 reported by New York State.

In several cities around the world, people have started nightly celebrations of health care workers.

Los Angeles residents celebrate the health care workers at 8 p.m. PST daily. New York, Vancouver, and other cities have started their own daily health care worker celebrations. It is a daily reminder that those staying home are doing so to fight the virus and show appreciation for the people fighting the battle.

The message of love and care for essential workers is something American families are becoming familiar with.

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Millions of Americans are out working to keep things afloat. Whether it is the grocery store worker stocking shelves or the nurse making sure that patients get their medicine on time, these workers are risking their lives to help us. They have helped us maintain a basic sense of normalcy while the rest of the world grappled with a pandemic.

Thank you to all of the frontline and essential workers doing everything they can to keep us moving forward.

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If you know an essential worker, take some time to thank them today and every day. They are doing the work so many people can’t or would refuse to do. More than 1 million Americans have contracted COVID-19 and new estimates project that more than 130,000 Americans will die from the virus. The doubling in the projected death rate comes as some states in the southeast have rushed to reopen ignoring guidelines set forth by the U.S. government and global health experts.

As always, familia. Stay safe. Stay home. Practice social distancing. We are in this together.

READ: A Young Mother With COVID-19 In Chicago Dies After Emergency C-Section

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An Actual Essential Worker With Insurance Was Charged $1,840 For Coronavirus Testing

Things That Matter

An Actual Essential Worker With Insurance Was Charged $1,840 For Coronavirus Testing

Pool / Getty

No doubt, essential workers are heroes and should be treated as such.

As an essential worker, Carmen Quintero (a supervisor at a 3M distribution warehouse which ships N95 masks across the country) is a hero. Despite the current crisis plaguing countries across the globe including the one she lives in, she shows up to work and gets her job done knowing what’s at stake.

And yet, despite her hard work and bravery, she’s being treated like a third-class citizen.

On March 23 Quintero displayed symptoms of Covid-19.

A human resources staff member at her company informed Quintero she would have to go home and get tested.

“They told me I couldn’t come back until I was tested,” explained to People magazine before also sharing that she was also told that she would need to document her results. After contacting her primary care doctor, Quintero was directed to the nearest emergency room for testing. At the time her primary care doctor’s practice did not have coronavirus tests.

At the Corona Regional Medical Center, Quintero received testing from a nurse for her breathing and gave her a chest X-ray. Unfortunately, the hospital also did not have tests and she was directed by the nurse to go to Riverside County’s public health department. At Riverside, a public health worker provided her with an 800 number so that she could schedule a test.

Over two weeks later, on April 7 the county was able to provide her with the test.

“At the hospital, Quintero got a doctor’s note saying she should stay home from work for a week,” People reports. “And she was told to behave as if she had COVID-19, isolating herself from vulnerable household members.”

But by the time April 7 came, Quintero felt better and decided against getting the coronavirus test. Then she received a massive bill.

Quintero has an Anthem Blue Cross health insurance plan through her job which allows her a $3,500 annual deductible. According to People, “Corona Regional Medical Center billed Quintero $1,010, and Corona Regional Emergency Medical Associates billed an additional $830 for physician services. She also paid $50 at Walgreens to fill a prescription for an inhaler.”

For her medical care, Quintero assumed she would get the test but be able to avoid paying

After all, at the time, Congress had already passed the CARES Act which at a glance said coronavirus testing would be free. A closer look at its loopholes shows however that those who needed or wanted a coronavirus test early in the pandemic would be treated differently.

“I just didn’t think it was fair because I went in there to get tested,” Quintero explained.

While some insurance companies have chosen to voluntarily wave or reduce copayments for COVID-related emergency room visits, Quintero says her insurer refused.

“Anthem would not discuss the case until Quintero signed its own privacy waiver; it would not accept a signed standard waiver KHN uses,” People reported. “The hospital would not discuss the bill with a reporter unless Quintero could also be on the phone, something that has yet to be arranged around Quintero’s workday, which begins at 4 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.”

Despite returning to work, Quintero’s insurance company and the hospital that treated her have refused to wave the charges sent to her. Her “payment reminders” turned to “final notices” and as such “she reluctantly agreed to pay $100 a month toward her balance — $50 to the hospital and $50 to the doctors.”

“None of them wanted to work with me,” Quintero explained. “I just have to give the first payment on each bill so they wouldn’t send me to collections.”

The lesson? Even in these hard times, heroes are not being given breaks. Take caution if your physician urges you to go to the emergency room for a COVID test. After all, any additional care you get there could come with a big price tag.

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Latinos Make Up A Large Portion Of ‘Essential Workers’ And This Latino Comic Book Is Honoring Them In The Best Way Possible

Culture

Latinos Make Up A Large Portion Of ‘Essential Workers’ And This Latino Comic Book Is Honoring Them In The Best Way Possible

El Paso Hero / Rio Bravo Comics

If the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that real-life heroes can be found all over. During the global crisis, regular people have realized that everyone from a fast food restaurant worker to a farmworker is a hero in their own way. It’s these people, many of whom are minorities, who have helped keep the country going during these unprecedented times. To so many of us, these front-line ‘essential workers’ are indeed heroes.

One Mexican-American comic book creator, Hector Rodriguez (of El Peso Hero) decided to put these real-life superheroes on the pages of his popular comic book and we couldn’t be more excited.

The best-selling comic book now features America’s front-line workers as the real heroes who are keeping the country running.

Credit: El Peso Hero / Rio Bravo Comics

Comic books are known for telling larger than life stories and inspiring their audiences – and that’s exactly what El Peso Hero is doing with his latest edition. Rodriguez is using El Peso Hero to tell the story of thousands of invisible workers – many of whom are undocumented Latino workers holding America together.

“Comic books are a great way to help people connect,” Rodríguez told NBC News. “But very few stories focus on the people who are feeding us.”

In this special pandemic issue, which is available for free, “El Peso Hero” takes a supporting role to a nurse and other essential workers facing tough day-to-day challenges as the country struggles to combat Covid-19.

In his interview with NBC News, Rodriguez said he hopes his comic can inspire Americans to reimagine themselves in the stories of millions of invisible workers who serve their communities.

It’s more important than ever to shine a light on the often invisible workers who are so vital to this country.

Credit: Salud America / Twitter

For Rodriguez, he hopes this edition will help shed light on the hard work and dedication of millions of invisible workers. People from all backgrounds can find common ground with these front-line workers who like so many Americans are simply trying to create a better life for themselves and their families.

“This is definitely a contrast from “El Peso Hero” fighting corruption, drug cartels, and racism on the border,” Rodríguez said. “Fans will see him in a supporting role to real-life heroes, helping a nurse bring medical masks to agricultural workers, and deliver a much needed message of solidarity and positivity to a community that is often marginalized in the shadows.”

Rodríguez himself comes from a family of immigrants — his grandfather moved from Mexico to Montana in the 1940s as a part of the Bracero Program, which brought in millions of authorized workers from Mexico to the U.S. to work on farms.

What inspired the El Peso Hero comic book series to begin with?

Credit: Rio Bravo Comics

El Peso Hero is a rogue hero standing up to Mexico’s cartels, corrupt border officials, and human traffickers.

Rodriguez told NBC News, “I wanted to create someone like Luke Cage in Harlem, but living in between southwest Texas and north Mexico, who fights cartels, and defends unaccompanied minors and families crossing the perilous border.”

It was stories his grandfather told about drug traffickers attacking vulnerable immigrants on the border that inspired him to create “El Peso Hero.”

“El Peso Hero” started off as a web comic in 2011, and is now scheduled to make its movie screen debut in 2021. The comic gained cross-border fame in 2015 after the Mexican superhero took on then presidential candidate Donald Trump — who started his campaign by saying Mexicans coming to the U.S. were rapists and criminals

This edition of El Peso Hero is so important and special given the bravery and selflessness of front-line workers.

Credit: Tom Barton / Getty

Across the country, millions of Latino workers, many of whom are undocumented, are working on farms, in meat packing plants and govern stores as “essential workers,” while much of the country is shut down for quarantine. Unlike many workers, they don’t have the privilege to work from home and instead are putting themselves and their families at risk to keep the country going.

Historically they are marginalized as outsiders and live in constant fear of deportation. But now the pandemic is showing how vital they really are to society.

The U.S. government calculates that roughly half of all crop farmworkers—1.18 million in 2019—are undocumented. A recent article from The New York Times reports that growers and labor contractors think it could be closer to 75 percent.

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