In San Francisco, as in other cities, lines at food pantries, pawn shops and free markets have been growing as quickly as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

For the many Latinx immigrants in those lines, the virus is particularly complicated and toxic. Immigrants who struggled to gain a place in the American economy through a small business have seen it crushed by the virus.

For the undocumented among them, staying at home means no income and because of their legal status, little government help. Instead, they make the daily decision to continue working in restaurants, food delivery or construction. It is a decision that means higher rates of infection, sickness and in some cases, death.

For those forced to stay home, the virus has upended the already precarious math of surviving in San Francisco as a nanny, housekeeper or driver.

These are their stories.


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Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Connie and Ricardo

Success and then the abyss

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A mother tests positive for COVID

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A new graduate worried about her future

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Success in the midst of the pandemic

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Hugo illustration by Lola Noguer
Illustration by Molly Oleson
Illustration by Molly Oleson


Hoping and waiting for resources

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A school teacher who wants to help

Coming Soon

Money illustration


Community leaders establish economic relief

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