A police investigation has been launched by the British Transport Police after a railway ticket office worker died from Covid-19. According to reports, the 47-year-old woman named Belly Mujinga had been on duty when a man purposefully spat and coughed on her. He also told the women that he had the virus which has caused a worldwide pandemic and thousands of deaths.
Mujinga had an underlying health condition and was working for Govia Thameslink Railway on the station concourse when the attack took place.
“Belly and her colleague begged to be let to work from inside the building with a protective barrier between them and the public for the rest of that day,” Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said in its statement. “Management said they needed people working outside and sent them back out onto the concourse for the rest of their shift.”
When both of the women returned to their shift, they do so without any personal protective equipment.
In a statement about Mujinga’s death, the TSSA said the GTR was aware of her condition and accused the train system of only allowing Mujinga to leave when her physician called her employers around March 25.
“As a vulnerable person in the ‘at risk’ category and her condition known to her employer, there are questions about why GTR didn’t stand her down from front line duties early on in this pandemic,” Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary said in an accusatory statement on behalf of the TSSA. “There are serious questions about her death, it wasn’t inevitable.”
Mujinga’s death has highlighted the roles deemed as “essential” during current times, putting into question their need to be put into operation.
It’s imperative, now more than ever, that governments and ruling bodies put protections in place for all people. Particularly those deemed essential.
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COVID-19 is still a threat to the U.S. The country is experiencing a sudden spike two weeks after Americans defied social distancing rules and gathered in mass for Memorial Day. Latino households are experiencing a higher number of cases with severe symptoms and the rising cases are troubling the community.
Latino households are experiencing some of the worst COVID-19 cases.
A new analysis from USA Today found that Latino households are experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms at higher rates. According to a study of more than 1.6 million people, Latinos, by and large, said they have experienced the symptoms tied to COVID-19. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, loss of taste, and coughing.
“Data is now emerging that matches the reality that we’re seeing,” Clarissa Martínez de Castro, deputy vice president of UnidosUS, told USA Today. “There are lots of factors at play, but among the biggest is the overrepresentation of Latinos in front-line jobs that don’t allow working from home.”
This a trend that health experts have seen within Latino communities in major cities.
Latino and Black communities have been devastated by COVID-19. The communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus with death rates higher than the population statistics in various states. Fears of discrimination and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests have prevented Latinos from seeking medical care long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public charge was just the latest thing,” Dr. Daniel Correa, a neurologist at Montefiore Medical Center, told NBC News. “There was already a lot of apprehension in the community before the pandemic. We were seeing concerns regarding public services, and in health care we were already seeing a decrease in public visits.”
These statistics come along the backdrop of Latinos facing the steepest financial and employment impact of any other group.
Latino households have faced the most job losses of any other demographic in the U.S. because of COVID-19. The job losses have compounded problems for the Latino community as DACA recipients and undocumented people are not eligible for federal government aid, despite paying billions in taxes.
According to Unidos US, 5.3 million out of 27.8 million Latinos in the U.S. are out of work giving Latinos the highest unemployment rate. Unemployment within the Latino community is 18.9 percent. The current national unemployment rate is 13.3 after the U.S. added 2.5 million jobs in May as states reopen.
The current job numbers are being celebrated by the Trump administration as a signal that the pandemic economic toll is ending. However, the current unemployment rate is higher than any point since the Great Depression and most jobs added are part-time jobs. The large portion of part-time employment has left some skeptical about the stability of the economic recovery.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.