This Latina Is Making Sure El Paso COVID-19 Victims Don’t Become Just Another Statistic


Image via Trisha Easto

By Araceli Cruz

November 17, 2020

More than 90% of the deaths in El Paso caused by COVID-19 have been Latino victims. Trisha Easto is making sure you know who they are.

Texas has more than a million cases of COVID-19, and one of the hardest-hit cities is El Paso. The situation in El Paso is so dire that county officials have recruited people who are incarcerated to remove the bodies of victims who have died of the coronavirus because medical personnel is already stretched thin. 

Trisha Easto, who recently gave birth to her son in October, has been living in El Paso for three years with her husband, a military service member. She’s been under quarantine since the very beginning, primarily because of her pregnancy. Almost daily, Easto has come across several GoFundMe pages of El Paso residents who either died of COVID-19 or are in the hospital trying to recover. 

With so many people asking for donations, the 27-year-old journalist and professor wanted to do something to help the victims and their families. 

RELATED: Latinos Have Been Ravaged by COVID. This Artist Is Memorializing Those Lost in Texas Mural.

“I looked up El Paso on GoFundMe, and each one was more heartbreaking than the one before it,” Easto told The Americano. “Even if it were possible to tell every single one of those stories, not all families are comfortable sharing their grief, so I figured the one thing I could do was share their link.”

Yesterday, Easto started a Twitter thread and shared as many stories as she could. She tweeted about René Martínez, a hardworking father who was intubated two days ago and is now in the ICU, and Fátima, who is no longer COVID-19 positive but is still facing months of rehab. So far, she’s honored 21 El Paso residents and continues to add to the thread. 

“People have reached out with their own links, or photos of their loved ones,” Easto said. “Someone asked me to create a ‘faces of covid’ Instagram for the stories, just for El Paso.”

Easto has also been touched by COVID-19 personally. Some of her family members in California have tested positive. Thankfully, no one she knows in El Paso has been affected. 

According to the City of El Paso, more than 90% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been Latino victims. Today, city officials reported 13 deaths and 994 new COVID-19 cases. Since the pandemic began, El Paso has had 76,075 cases, 34,487 active cases, and 782 deaths.

RELATED: Black, Latino Children Are Dying of COVID at Higher Rates. These Doctors Say Medicaid Expansion Can Help.

Easto can’t help but think of all the devastation El Paso has experienced in such a short period. 

“I’m not from El Paso,” Easto said. “[But] it’s really become home. The borderland has been through so much in that time frame, a humanitarian crisis on the border, a racially-motivated mass shooting, and now a pandemic. Our city just can’t seem to catch a break, but it’s a resilient city.”


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus | Texas


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