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Dr. Gilberto Lopez's Research

COVID-19 In The San Joaquin Valley Latinx Community

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared COVID-19 a global pandemic—the most serious respiratory virus threat since the 1918 influenza outbreak. This pandemic is especially dangerous due to lack of immunity in human populations, the non-existence of a vaccine, and presents unique challenges for Latinx. Emerging evidence suggests a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Latinx communities—who have the highest age-adjusted COVID-19 death rate. However, little is known about how the pandemic is affecting Latinx across California’s Central Valley. Thus, our studies focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx communities across the Central Valley.

STUDY 1: Understanding the Social Determinants of COVID-19/ Tobacco link: Survey of Central Valley Latinx

In this study, we are administering a survey across the Central Valley in order to understand the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 on socioeconomic and psychosocial wellbeing. We are especially interested in documenting and understanding racial/ethnic disparities.

If you live in the Central Valley and would like to join this study, please click on the flyers below for more information.

STUDY 2: COVID-19 (Mis)Information Among Central Valley Latinx

This is a critical and scary time and we are aware that there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about COVID-19 in the Latinx community. This study uses qualitative methods to understand what COVID-19 information is being received and how it is understood among Latinx in the Central Valley.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please email

STUDY 3: Explanatory Models of COVID-19 in a Sample of Latinx Smokers & Non-Smokers in Central California

This qualitative study uses Arthur Kleinman’s theory of Explanatory Models of Disease to understand how Latinx smokers and non-smokers make sense of, and understand, COVID-19. More specifically, we are interested in understanding how residents of the Central Valley understand and makes sense of the origins, spread, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please email


For more information about any of these studies, please email Dr. Lopez : or contact