The Filipino community across the US have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, mainly due to a large number of migrant nurses. Out of America’s 512,000 registered nurses, at least 28% are of Filipino descent. America’s colonization of the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century meant that many Filipinos were employed in the US, particularly when nursing programs were first created. In the 1960s, when Medicare and Medicaid were established, even more nurses from the Philippines were recruited to the US. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and related complications, hundreds of nurses have passed away and around 30% of them are Filipino.

Nurses and other healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic are more at risk to the virus. There are low rates of testing amongst them, as well as a severe shortage of personal protective equipment. With so many Filipinos working in the healthcare sector, the community has a higher risk of infection. The reason being most Filipinos live in multi-generational households, therefore endangering the lives of those family members. Furthermore, the community has a substantial undocumented population, relative economic insecurity, lack of health insurance, and higher incidences of pre-existing conditions. Out of all the Asian subgroups, Filipinos have the worst health due to long working hours and tiresome jobs. As a result of COVID-19, the Filipino community is hit particularly hard. All these people are dedicated to helping everyone get through this pandemic, so the least we could do is to follow the guidelines to remain 6-feet apart and remember to wear masks.