Latinos are known for being empathetic — there is no better way to understand an issue than by putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
That is why La Red Hispana has decided to launch a new multimedia series entitled “The Rhythm of Your Health!” focusing on stories of Latinx with pre-existing conditions and at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19.
As announced in a press release by the Hispanic Communications Network (HCN), “El Ritmo de Tu Salud!” features Latin Grammy nominee Leslie Cartaya who shares her personal experiences and those of her close family members living with chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, and how they are coping with the pandemic.
“By highlighting the singer-songwriter’s story, we are tapping into music as a common denominator among Latinx cultures. Music is the universal language and the soundtrack that gets us through rough times of difficulty and sorrow. Music also demands a steady rhythm, just as chronic conditions require steady and regular medical management and treatment. El Ritmo de Tu Salud! is our pilot programming series to share practical and useful information during the pandemic through lived experiences, and encourage audiences living with chronic illnesses to not miss a beat,” says Alison Rodden, CEO of HCN.
Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Latinx in the United States are the most affected by the new coronavirus — with a hospitalization rate five times higher than other U.S. citizens — telling their stories is critical to understand that these are real stories and real people.
Similarly, the new multimedia series aims to shed light on the stories of Latinx “essential workers” who are on the front lines of the pandemic, whether in food supply, waste management, and sanitation, infrastructure, construction, or health care industries.
While living with a chronic illness does not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, it can worsen the outcome of contracting the virus. This is alarming for Hispanics because they have higher co-morbidity rates, including hypertension and diabetes, compared to non-Hispanic whites.
“I have family and friends who suffer from hypertension and diabetes,” says singer-songwriter Leslie Cartaya. I always encourage them to exercise regularly, follow a balanced diet, and get a physical exam every year, including during the pandemic. This is why highlighting these issues for the Latinx community is so important to me, especially now considering the additional risks brought on by COVID-19.”
“The Rhythm of Your Health!” series, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, includes original audio, video, and digital productions with useful information for Spanish-speaking audiences living with chronic diseases. Due to a growing number of bilingual Latinx audiences, the series is in Spanish and English and can be accessed via LaRedHispana.org and its social media channels, including its new podcast LatinEQUIS, geared toward Latinx Millennial and Gen Z audiences.