Jesus Ruiz

Jesus Ruiz

Voces of a Pandemic

Date of Birth: 
September 16, 1981

Place of Birth: 

Interviewed By: 
Dana Yarak

Date of Interview: 
July 2, 2020

Place of Interview: 


By: Voces Staff 

Jesús Ruíz lost his uncle –in his 50’s—to COVID-19. He took his uncle to the hospital after days of relative sickness. He and his family never saw him alive again. Jesús, who is the first Latino Dean at the College of Lake County, in Waukegan, Illinois, talks about his success in making connections with the community, and how he was making progress in raising the profile of the campus when the Coronavirus hit and halted business. Jesus describes particular challenges of faculty and students during the pandemic, including technological and socioeconomic barriers. Jesus explains how Waukegan, a northern suburb of Chicago, became a hotspot for Covid-19 in Illinois. He explains how undocumented and mixed-status families in the area—fearing interactions with government authorities and lacking economic support available to the larger population—have been particularly vulnerable to the ravages of Covid-19.