How COVID-19 Has Impacted Refugees and Immigrants in Iowa
The PPC is proud to support this lecture hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC).
Since early 2020, the pandemic has had wide-ranging effects on communities across Iowa. A confluence of factors related to the Covid-19 virus have created particular health and wellness challenges for refugees and immigrants in the state. Early during the pandemic, limited reliable information was available to newer Iowans in languages other than English about how to prevent exposure to and spreading of the virus, creating uncertainties about staying safe and protecting others. Along with the destruction from and chaos due to the derecho storm of summer 2020, individuals and families have been faced with new and compounding hardships: dire employment, financial, and childcare concerns, requirements to restrict contact with family, friends, and others in their communities, as well as increasing and often unaddressed mental health stressors related to and separate from the ongoing pandemic.
This year, abundant misinformation about vaccine safety and efficacy have resulted in vaccination hesitancy and mistrust in public health officials. In this session, the panel will discuss the health impacts born over the last two years and those which predate them and were exacerbated by the pandemic. Panelists will also share how refugee and immigrant communities have found resilience and strength during these difficult times. And insights will be offered into the ways in which healthy Iowa communities, broadly speaking, are those which listen to, learn from, and support one another across neighborhoods, cultures, and affinity groups.