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The Navajo people experienced the first wave of coronavirus in May 2020. Like other U.S. communities, the Navajo’s success in containing the virus has been mixed, and the government’s latest consultation warned that the Navajo is “spreading uncontrollably” among 34 Navajos. .
Navajo President Jonathan Nez told NPR: “We have taken our capabilities as a sovereign nation seriously.”
Officials implemented strict guidelines, including masking and social evacuation instructions, and restrictions on the number of corporate visitors. The Navajo Nation imposed stricter weekend lockdowns, closing all businesses and roads to the public every Friday night to Monday morning.
Nez said: “We even said that there are no non-Navajos visiting. Of course they can pass, but they can’t.”
The Navajo is surrounded by Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo had implemented the mask mission in mid-April, but Arizona still does not have a statewide mask mission, and Utah’s statute only took effect this week. Nez said that this is a problem for the Navajo people, and as time goes by, people’s moods begin to fall.
Nez explained: “We are seeing the same fatigue in this country. In the past, there was a fear factor that prevented people from going home.” This situation is changing as we get more and more into this epidemic . This is why we are changing our strategy and fighting this virus. “
The Navajo warned residents on Wednesday that there has been an increase in cases in the surrounding area.
Vice President Myron Lizer said in a press release: “On Tuesday, New Mexico reported 1,266 new COVID-19 cases, Arizona reported 3434 new cases, and Utah reported 2,517 new cases.” “The safest place is in the Navajo country. We must remain optimistic and never lose hope, because eventually we will overcome this pandemic.”
As the shops were closed on weekends, citizens began to travel for weekend business. Nez said that the Navajo national bubble was endangered by citizens bringing the virus back from neighboring countries.
As fatigue and complacency eased, the Navajo Health Department relaxed its weekend rules. In October, Navajos were allowed to enter essential businesses for a limited time on weekends in an effort to prevent foreign travel.
Nez said: “This is a major factor in keeping these numbers down because the numbers in the community have decreased, from confinement to curfew.”
Only about half of the Navajo people live on reservations. For the first time since spring, cases have started to rise again, and Nez is worried about the upcoming holiday.
Nez said family and social gatherings are driving the spread of the entire reserve. He encourages family and friends to stay at home, whether at home or at home, until the vaccine is out. He said that young people should do the right thing, not only to protect themselves, but also to protect their elders.
“We stereotyped this virus and compared it with the monsters that plagued our people, including our creative stories, traditional stories. The Navajo people have always been fighting monsters; this is our view and perception.” Nez explained. “Today, we are fighting against modern monsters. Now we have a new monster, COVID-19.”