Census matters amid coronavirus

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In just a week, an website launched March 19 for reporting cases of discrimination against Asians during the coronavirus pandemic has fielded more than 670 complaints, ranging from being spat on to being denied transportation.

Six out of 155 incidents in California happened in Sacramento and Roseville, a San Francisco State University professor said. All six respondents encountered verbal harassment at grocery stores and shopping centers. Some said they experienced people coughing and laughing behind their backs and looking at them with disgust.

“We want community members to know they are not alone. They can speak out and help stop the spread of bigotry,” experts said.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak that has led to the suspension of census field operations, the U.S. Census counts are on track in California, officials say. Small adjustments in dates have been made to make sure people are counted.

In light of a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to fill in the census for fair representation and fair funding and resources, said Diana Crofts-Pelayo, assistant deputy director of external affairs and media relations for the California Complete Count for Census 2020.

“We are needing as many resources as possible to come and stay in our communities, and that goes for public safety, hospital beds, emergency preparedness, school nutrition lunch programs… (what) all families are depending on, especially now than ever,” Crofts-Pelayo said.


  • Fresno-area translators race to get coronavirus info to Hmong, Punjabi, Spanish speakers [The Fresno Bee]
  • How Asian-American leaders are grappling with xenophobia amid coronavirus [The New York Times]
  • Black, Asian and Hispanic House caucus chairs unite in “no tolerance” for coronavirus racism [NBC News]
  • Women who left N.Y. for China amid U.S. coronavirus outbreak document their journey [NBC News]
  • A Chinese fishing village in Monterey regains its rightful place in California history [Atlas Obscura]
  • San Joaquin’s Gurdwara just became Fresno County’s first Sikh historical landmark [Valley Public Radio]
  • Funerals must change in this time of social distancing [LAist]

Finally, what stories would you like to read about? Are you working on the front lines in some way to help with the containment of the coronavirus, or are contributing to the health and well-being of our community? Send your story to me at tyu@sacbee.com.

That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Thanks for reading, stay safe and hang in there!

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