Delia Perez might barely abdomen stepping contained in the destroyed shell of her dwelling final month.
Her mom was the primary Covid-19 fatality in a county that will quickly see among the many virus’s highest per-capita demise charges within the state. Then, because the virus raged throughout South Texas, Hurricane Hanna arrived, decreasing to rubble the cell dwelling the place Mrs. Perez and her husband, Gracian Perez, had lived for 37 years and raised two youngsters, destroying almost all their belongings with water and blasted fiberglass.
“Covid left me an orphan and the hurricane left me homeless,” Mrs. Perez mentioned.
Mr. and Mrs. Perez aren’t alone in experiencing a number of crises which have affected lower-income and Latino populations more durable than the nation as an entire. The place they dwell in Starr County, a border county of lower than 65,000 on the western fringe of the Rio Grande Valley, one in 20 individuals has caught Covid-19 and, since June, one in 445 has died from it. That’s by far the very best deaths per capita of Texas counties with greater than 10,000 individuals.
These deaths got here because the area took an financial blow from the closing of the U.S.-Mexico border, a rise in present poverty and starvation as faculties closed, and a bodily beating from the storm. Starr County, a sprawl of ranches and cities upriver from the extra populous areas of McAllen and Brownsville, is 99% Hispanic and amongst simply 1% of U.S. counties with a poverty fee greater than 35%.