By Zach Goodwin
The sound of power tools reverberated through the backyard of Pablo Alvarado’s Pasadena home the morning of April 16 as members of his organization, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and local jornaleros, or day laborers, sculpted and sanded 600 wooden crosses. Each one represented 1,000 souls, adding up to the approximately 600,000 who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. since March 2020.
Nearly 23,000 of those deaths have been in LA County, according to the health department, where the virus has killed Latinx residents at nearly three times the rate of white ones. Jornaleros — predominantly Latino and immigrant men who negotiate manual labor jobs day by day — have been particularly vulnerable.