NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana finds itself trying to overcome another disaster.
Hurricane Katrina, 15 years ago, left more than 1500 deaths in the state.
But the coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed more lives than the historic storm: more than 2600 deaths as of Wednesday.
Louisiana has more than 38,000 coronavirus cases.
“Our Filipino community is quite strong and resilient as ever. However, when this pandemic happened, some are really just off guard,” said Robert Romero, the Philippine honorary consul.
Honorary Consul Robert Romero told ABS CBN News that Filipino healthcare workers on the front lines in New Orleans were among those who got sick.
At least 291 health care workers have died — with the agency admitting the numbers are possibly an undercount.
But Romero pointed out another sector where Filipino workers are being hit the most by the pandemic
“Close to a thousand of the offshore oil and gas are still working on the offshore. Because of the prices of oil and the lockdown, of course, there’s no work for them so they decided to let (them) go.”
Louisiana has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Crispin Pasia is the chef and owner of CK Hot Shoppe – a popular eatery in New Orleans,
He recently just reopened after being closed for almost 3 months.
“From the beginning, all the way to this time, we still worry because you never know. You go out, you don’t know what you encounter there.”
The number of COVID cases in the southern state continues to rise as testing numbers ramp up.
“Even other businesses here, they don’t open yet because of non employees. A lot of them don’t come to work at the moment.”
Pasia said despite being understaffed — like everyone else in the big easy, he’s trying to do his best to get back to normal.