During our shared religious holidays, remember those who are strangers in our land

Immigrants and refugees already feel isolated. Those feelings are magnified during this pandemic, when the normal rhythms of Easter, Passover and Ramadan are disrupted.

SHARE During our shared religious holidays, remember those who are strangers in our land
An internet livestream of Palm Sunday services is seen on a mobile phone in Manila, Philippines. Immigrants and refugees are feeling especially disconnected during this time of religious holidays.

An internet livestream of Palm Sunday services is seen on a mobile phone in Manila, Philippines. Immigrants and refugees are feeling especially disconnected during this time of religious holidays.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Passover, Easter and Ramadan are upon us, and the normal rhythm of the holidays is nowhere to be found. This new, unsettling reality of life during a pandemic is disorienting for us all.

We don’t know the new rules, and we feel cut off from our normal lives. We feel cut off from moving about in familiar ways. Our families and friends, all of a sudden, seem far away.

For immigrants and refugees, that situation is amplified many times over. Those feelings of distance, of separation and of isolation were the norm before coronavirus; now those feelings are turned up to 11.

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Many agencies like ours are using technology to reach out to these families. We read and do art projects with young learners. We keep families engaged with virtual home visits and play dates. We teach English to adult students. We conduct virtual therapy sessions and support groups for those who are troubled. And we still distribute food to children who depend on school for their meals.

As we celebrate our holidays, let those of us who are in our own homes do what we can to support those who are strangers in our land and to support those who work with them.

Craig Maki, chief executive officer, Asian Human Services

Getting reacquainted with Prine and Goodman

John Vukmirovich’s column on John Prine and Steve Goodman in the April 9 edition of the Sun-Times is the best overview of I’ve ever read on either artist. The article also vividly revived for me a time in Chicago musical/cultural history that I was just lucky enough to catch the tail end of, the late 1970s.

I have both Prine and Goodman in my musical library, though it has been a while since I listened to them. I’m going to take Vukmirovich’s fine remembrance and this unexpected sabbatical as opportunities to reacquaint myself with two singular Chicago voices. Thank you, John Vukmirovich.

Jack Lowe, Addison

Coronavirus and art

The article by Mitch Dudek about artists’ work on homes and buildings during this outbreak is enticing.I just hope the murals and the balloon house last a few more weeks, so my wife and I can drive by and see them after the “shelter at home” ends.

George Pfeifer, Evanston

Show respect for fallen officer

I’m totally disgusted by some comments regarding the funeral for Chicago Police Officer Marco DiFranco. People are complaining about having a funeral for the officer when others can’t have services.

Well, guess what?You can have a funeral, but no more than 10 are allowed in the funeral home or at the grave site at the cemetery.

People have also complained about social distancing and all the cars in the funeral procession. Pay attention — people are staying in their vehicles. Stop complaining and show respect for this officer, as well as for all first responders.

May the officer rest in peace.

John Moravecek, Naperville

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