I went to my old City Heights neighborhood and visited the La Maestra community clinic on Fairmount http://www.lamaestra.org/city-heights/default.html
I specifically looked for a clinic in City Heights, because I know this to be one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in San Diego. Sure enough, just before I got there, I saw an African woman crossing the street in some sort of traditional clothing, balancing a sac of rice or something on her head.
The clinic is at a busy intersection with several bus line stops, but it also has an underground garage free of charge. I drove there, so I parked in the underground garage, which was nearly deserted. That tells me that most people probably arrive by public transportation.
To get on the elevator to the clinic, I had to check in at a table. I was given disposable gloves to wear to fill out a form that asked me about travel to or contact with people recently arrived from West Africa. Once I said no to all of those things, I got to take my gloves off and go up to the clinic. I asked why I had to go through all of this and was told that the clinic serves many people from West Africa. O.K. fair enough!
I went up to the Primary Care Clinic level and the elevator opened up to the waiting room. There were about 20 people there, waiting. Some were wearing disposable masks.
I walked around, looking at posters on the walls. Most posters were in English and Spanish. One poster announced free mamm0grams. There was a Legal Advocacy office. The door was open. No one was there. Groups of people sitting in pleasant waiting room.
I sat next to a young black man who was reading a book. I introduced myself by name and said that I was a Public Health student. Did he speak English. He said yes. I asked him if he would talk to me about the clinic and he seemed agreeable. Perhaps his book about American Culture was not as interesting as this woman who was going to ask him some questions about the clinic.
He said he was from Somalia. He found out about the clinic from Catholic Charities. He told me that he communicated with the doctors in English, but he was told that he could have an interpreter, if he wanted one.
To be continued.....