The Unequal Effects of COVID-19 on Multilingual Immigrant Communities

March 29, 2021

2019 Wall Scholar Dr. Mark Turin (Anthropology) has co-authored an op-ed in the Globe and Mail and the Royal Society of Canada’s COVID-19 series. The article shares many of the outcomes of Dr. Turin’s 2019 Wall Solutions-funded language mapping project, which focuses on mapping linguistic diversity in a globalized world using open source digital tools. 

“The Unequal Effects of COVID-19 on Multilingual Immigrant Communities” looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, the most linguistically diverse urban centre in the world — home to at least 700 languages.

In March 2020, New York City became the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. By May, the city had reported more than 170,000 confirmed cases and over 18,000 confirmed deaths. While nearly every city resident was impacted, the effects were not evenly distributed. The same pattern of unequal impact and exposure has played out time and again in the United States, Canada and beyond. New research and public data point to serious disparities by ethnicity and race, and it is beyond doubt that marginalized and multilingual immigrant communities in hyper-diverse urban settings in Canada and the US have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19.

You can read the article in its entirety here.

For more infomation about Dr. Turin’s language mapping project, visit his team’s website.