The spring of 2020 brought fear, death and grief to hundreds of thousands across the globe. In the few months that my students and I were getting to know immigrants and refugees, more than 400,000 people died of the coronavirus pandemic. More than ¼ of them died in the U.S.

As we were meeting for the first times in early April, we decided to focus our reporting on the pandemic’s effect on different immigrant and refugee communities. So many Good Questions can use exploration, so we set out to answer some of them.

What we came to realize is that one of the potential effects of a global pandemic is to recognize that the experiences of migration and decisions about cross-national travel may pull the U.S., willingly or not, out of its exceptionalist posture and into a more cooperative arena. We shall see.

Here are our stories on how the COVID-19 pandemic has effected different immigrant and refugee communities:

How have Chinese students handled what to do as the spread of COVID-19 limited their options to return to China? By Connie Deng 

Are people turning to traditional Chinese medicine during the coronavirus pandemic? By Lydia Rivers

How have Korean Americans prepared for COVID-19?  By Chloe Jeonghyun Heo

How have Indian grocery stores been impacted by COVID-19? By Rachel Baldauf

How have African refugees coped with COVID-19?  By Michael Fitzpatrick

How did COVID-19 affect Ramadan celebrations in the Arab American community around Dearborn, Michigan? By Bailey Pekar

In the process of doing the series on COVID-19, we encountered a couple of extraordinary people you should know:

Glo Harn Choi: Pathways to citizenship for the undocumented can come slowly,  and surely, with collective action  By Chloe Jeonghyun Heo

Mamadul Hasson: A Rohingya retells his traumatic journeys to freedom that still haunt him  By Jason Harward


The student reporters wanted you to know something about themselves and their inspiration for investing in reporting on immigrants unlike themselves. The stories are captured here and on the Immigrant Connect staff page:

Svati returns the favor years later By Rachel Baldauf

My mother and I break a Chinese taboo and emerge with unconditional love By Connie Deng

The life of a refugee is nothing like my life By Michael Fitzpatrick

A snip, snip, here and some family history there By Jason Harward

I realize what it means to choose citizenship – US or Korean By Chloe Jeonghyun Heo

Grandfather Gaioni’s love for cooking and food are the ties to Italy that bind By Bailey Pekar

Savta shows me that tradition doesn’t stagnate By Ash Ravid

My mother lived like an Ethiopian princess and left it all behind By Lydia Rivers

Ignorance or innocence? The dragons of South Africa are the real Africa to me By Channing Russell

Instructions for death can be a Chamorro woman’s expression of life fully lived By Imani Sumbi