The phrase “Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19” is often used when speaking about COVID-19 within the Navajo Nation. It means “big cough” or “cough that kills” in the Navajo language Diné Bizaad. Unfortunately, the Navajo people have been disproportionality affected by the deadly virus since the first case was confirmed on the tribal land on March 17, 2020. Navajo Nation has the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus per capita in the United States. As of May 17, after rigorous testing facilitated by the Navajo Nation leadership, there are 4,002 positive cases and more than 18,380 negative cases. There have also been 140 deaths.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/interviews/2020/maintaining-hope-during-distance-learning-planting-seeds-life-citizens-navajo-nation
Thank-you for this article that really highlights the issues that the Navajo Nation already had even before the brutal arrival of Covid 19 in its territory. The problems outlined in the article are real and systemic and the consequences are being felt within states that the Navajo Nation shares borders with.
Covid 19 has affected the Native Population disproportionately with over 50 percent of the cases in this state (NM). The reasons for this have been clearly shown in the article. The unfortunate aftermath of poverty and general lack of good medical care is that many Native Americans will lose family members and Elders.
Living in New Mexico has made me very aware of what the Navajo and other Pueblos here face. Any assistance to them is a blessing and adds to their survival after all the other injustices done to them over the centuries.
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