In the World With COVID-19: When the World As I Knew It Changed: Part III

Written by Ahang Zafari, friend of the Nuvance Health Global Health Program


I have many frontline workers in my family spread throughout the United States, from California to Georgia, to New York and Connecticut. On top of that, I have elderly parents and, being the oldest of my siblings, usually am the one taking care of them. Due to COVID travel restrictions, I haven’t been able to see them or take care of them.

In the World With COVID-19: When the World As I Knew It Changed: Part II

Written by Ahang Zafari, friend of the Nuvance Health Global Health Program


My two youngest children and I have been home since March 13. As a mother of three, I have mixed emotions about this time. I love my children very much and appreciate every second I spend with them. After our youngest became a freshman and left the house we became “empty nesters,” as they call it here. All of a sudden we were left by ourselves at home. No more soccer games to attend, no more cross-country trips to plan, and no more symphony or choral concerts at the high school to listen to.

In the World With COVID-19: When the World As I Knew It Changed: Part I

Written by Ahang Zafari, friend of the Nuvance Health Global Health Program


I am an Iranian mother of three who immigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1980s. This country has been my home for most of my life. I lived through the so-called Islamic Revolution in my late teens in Tehran and left Iran to go to Germany where I studied medicine at Georg August University in Goettingen. It was there that I witnessed the Berlin wall come down. I came to the United States after I was married and have lived here since. None of my former experiences have been quite like the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite what I have lived through, I can’t be sure that my past experiences have prepared me to deal with this. 

In the World With COVID-19: A Shadow of Mental Illnesses on Human Life and the Darkness of Racism

Written by Elnaz Arab, medical student at Kazan State Medical University, Russia


The increasing morbidity of coronavirus and humanity’s effort around the globe to prevent its spread has triggered, along with self-isolation and sedentary lifestyles, rapid rises of mental health disorders including depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder. The burden of the high cost of hospitalization along with racial discrimination has prevented many people from seeking treatment.

In the World With COVID-19: Health Inequities in Our Own Backyard

Written by Allyson Miller, UVMLCOM Class of 2022


I had rehearsed the line so many times. “This year we’re advocating for everyone to get a flu shot even if you don’t generally get one. Do you plan on getting a flu shot this year?” As a clerkship student, this was the one question that every attending physician I had worked with in an outpatient setting wanted me to ask their patients. And yet, nobody was asking an entire community of migrant workers on dairy farms across Northern Vermont this question.

In the World With COVID-19: Bridges to Health: Part II

Written by Benjamin Clements, MD, Director of the Family Medicine Global Health Program at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine


Seventy-seven farms with 350 immigrant workers were contacted to ascertain interest in on-farm flu shots. Many of the workers reported having never received a flu shot before, though most remembered having childhood vaccinations. All received education and materials for infection prevention for droplet and airborne viral diseases such as influenza and Covid-19.

In the World With COVID-19: Bridges to Health: Part I

Written by Benjamin Clements, MD, Director of the Family Medicine Global Health Program at the University of Vermont Larner College of MedicineAccess to healthcare services for the agricultural community is fraught with individual and systemic barriers. The subset of immigrant agricultural workers are arguably the most vulnerable of all. A myriad of factors influence low health utilization among this population including transportation challenges, language barriers, work schedule conflicts, ineligibility for insurance, out-of-pocket costs, fear of leaving the farm, and a culture of health that tends to be more responsive than preventative.

In the World With COVID-19: A Contribution, However Small

Written by Reverend Professor Samuel Luboga, MD, Co-Founder of the Homestay Model in Global Health


In March 2020 when the lockdown was instated, I looked around for something, however small, that I could do to contribute to mitigating the pandemic. St. Stephen’s Hospital COU Mpererwe, which some of you know very well, was in need of expansion even before COVID-19 struck. The number of patients was already overwhelming due to the community’s perception of the staff’s high technical capacity and superb customer care. So with the emergency of the pandemic, the numbers of patients seeking care at St. Stephen’s Hospital shot up significantly, and with them, the urgency of expanding the hospital.

In the World With COVID-19: Migrant Farmer Flu Clinic Reflection

Written by Elena Martel, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Class of 2022


Working with Bridges to Health for the Migrant Farmer Flu Clinic was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences of my clerkship year thus far. I moved to Vermont from Boston, a bustling city with a diverse population, and was initially disappointed by the homogeneity of my new state. I’ve always had an interest in global health that I hope to implement in my future career, so I was thrilled to be accepted to the Global Health Program at UVM.