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Día de los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is the annual holiday where we honor our loved ones who have passed away.
This year, Día de los Muertos is celebrated Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
During Día de los Muertos, Latino families gather to remember relatives who have died and often honor their memory by preparing the relative’s favorite foods and building ofrendas, or alters, decorated with candles, flowers, and photographs of those who passed.
While a typical Día de Los Muertos celebration calls for parades with large gatherings of singing and dancing, this year it will look different.
Latinos and COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means many cancelled celebrations or virtual gatherings. But it also means a greater loss in the Latino community.
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting Latinos.
Data from the CDC shows that:
- Latinos have been 3 times as likely as white people to become infected.
- The U.S. COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate is 193.7 per 100,000, according to CDC data updated on Oct. 23, 2020. Hospitalization rates for Black and Latinos are 4.5 times the rate among Whites.
- The U.S. population recently rose to 18.5% Latino. Yet 32.4% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths are among Latinos, according to weighted population distributions from CDC data, as of the latest data on Oct. 28.
- Latinos comprise 43.2% of COVID-19-related deaths among those ages 0-24.
How to Stay Safe for Día de los Muertos
Because of the risk of infection of COVID-19, we must do our part to stay safe this Día de los Muertos.
“We have a responsibility to keep safe our current familia while we remember and celebrate our departed familia,” said Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! and the Institute of Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.
We can safely celebrate Día de los Muertos if we adhere to CDC guidelines about social gatherings.
“We still need to do all the things we have within our power to protect our health and that of our family. That includes wearing a mask, even when around extended family. That includes skipping gatherings, and at least making sure we’re being safe at small get-togethers. That includes knowing what to do if we’re exposed to the virus or test positive,” Ramirez said.
To help fight the spread of COVID-19, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio launched the “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” digital communication campaign to help Latino families and workers take action to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The #JuntosStopCovid campaign features bilingual, culturally relevant fact sheets, infographics, and video role model stories to encourage Latinos to change their public health behaviors.
Share the campaign with your friends, family, and colleagues!