Diné language and culture teacher and COVID-19 survivor Albert Brent Chase says the many profound challenges, revelations and changes he experienced in 2020 are guiding his path of healing in 2021. “I, too, have suffered the grief and heartbreak that is ongoing with our people,” said Chase.
A few days ago, the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, a grassroots effort to get food and water to homebound elders during the pandemic, noticed a swell in donations to its GoFundMe page — and almost all the new money was coming from Ireland. “At first we thought we had been hacked,” said Cassandra Begay, the group’s communication director.
Retired Navajo Transit driver Benjamin Henio, 70, who also worked for Kerr-McGee, the former uranium mining company, “for many years,” said he wouldn’t have a chance against COVID-19 if he were to get it. There was no second-guessing about whether he should get the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
One of the few careers that has actually benefitted from the coronavirus pandemic is writing. Publishing houses have reported new manuscripts surging along with virus cases, presumably because being in quarantine (or losing a day job) has given prospective writers the time to finally focus on that unfinished novel or memoir.