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"Why Filipino Nurses Dread the Second Wave"

The New York Times interviewed Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about the expected impact of this winter’s pandemic infection wave on Filipino and Filipino-American nurses

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Belinda Ellis had been a nurse for 40 years, and she thought she’d seen it all. She had worked in hospitals in the Philippines, where she was born and got her degree. She was a nurse in Saudi Arabia and then at a military hospital on the border of Iraq when Saddam Hussein came into power.

But when the first wave of the pandemic battered New York City last spring, she still wasn’t prepared. Nor could she have foreseen the immense toll the coronavirus would take on her Filipino colleagues.

As devastating as Covid-19 was in those early months, a number of studies now reveal just how hard the virus hit Filipino health care workers. Of all the nurses who died from the virus nationwide, one study found, close to a third of them were Filipino.