Kirk Siegler / NPR
Shoppers and diners are slowly returning to Albuquerque’s trendy Nobhill district.
This is a welcome sign for Mike and Kathy Holmberg of Arizona, who visited New Mexico for the first time since the pandemic began. They usually spend the summer in the cool mountains here. However, the couple also found that New Mexico felt much more cautious than Arizona. The restaurant here requires customers to enter their name and phone number in order to track their contacts. Enterprises still operate under strict capacity limits.
“I see most people still wearing masks, but most companies need them,” says Mike Holmberg. “Arizona is more open.”
Holmberg, who is fully vaccinated, says he feels safer here.Neighboring Arizona is still close to the top of the country in terms of per capita cases, but close to the bottom if it happens. Come to vaccination..
In fact, New Mexico has emerged as the only prominent state in Sunbelt, which tends to have the lowest immunization rates in the country.In general, the restrictions are much stricter than the surrounding states Operated by the Governor of the Republican Party..
Here, some counties immunize 90% of the adult population. New Mexico has been one of the top 10 immunization states in recent weeks. Former Secretary of Health, Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, said state restrictions would be lifted completely only after 60% of adults were fully vaccinated.
Kirk Siegler / NPR
Dr. Tracy Collins, the current secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, said: “We know what we need to do to preserve this state, and that’s what we do.”
About 40% of New Mexicans Uses Medicaid and the majority of the population is considered vulnerable due to existing health problems.
But on the other hand, the state has long invested in the public health system. Collins states that in efficient testing, he quickly adapted and responded to COVID-19. When the vaccine came online, there was only one central database and registration location operated by the state. This is alleged to have eliminated the early turmoil and turmoil found in many other states.
“There were many messages that helped people understand the importance of this vaccine as a way to get back to what it looks like after a year of pain,” says Collins.
Nationally, public health experts have also acknowledged New Mexico’s success in prioritizing delivery of vaccines to the most vulnerable, often tribal and local communities. As you leave the city, the number of vaccinations tends to decrease, but not as much as the large-scale vaccinations in the American countryside.
Reach the most vulnerable
In Guadalupe County, with a population of 3,500, not including private prisons, nearly 70% of the adult population has been shot at least once. According to Christina Campos, administrator of Guadalupe County Hospital, the county is old, sick, and some people in remote areas still rely on poorly ventilated wood-burning stoves.
A 10-bed public hospital is also the only place where vaccines are available. About 800 people participated in one mass vaccination event earlier this year.
Kirk Siegler / NPR
“They trusted us to take care of them and we really promoted the vaccine,” says Campos.
A recent morning when part of the community returned to the hospital for a booster shot, Campos said confidence in facilities and government remained strong in rural counties. The government wasn’t considered overkill, and she thought it was a major reason New Mexico survived the pandemic better than many other states.
In general, people here take the virus seriously.
“This area is very culturally conservative, but it’s a Democrat,” says Campos. “It’s very different from many other states.”
Outbreak is still happening
Of course, the people of the New Mexico countryside, especially A place like Navajo Nation.. Over the past year, Guadalupe County has experienced three major spikes and numerous hospitalizations. Recently, health officials here were frustrated and watching as the outbreak occurred after a large family gathering around Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day. As a result, high school graduation had to be postponed.
“It was very hard,” says El Lindasize, who was waiting in the lobby while his 18-year-old son Ruben was taking his second moderna shot.
Her teenage daughter is infected with the virus. They think they got it from their unvaccinated grandparents. Size’s father-in-law is still ill at home, but her mother-in-law had recently had to be transferred to a hospital in the Albuquerque area. She is worried and squeezing her hands. She has been vaccinated since February because she is a care facility supervisor.
“I got the vaccine to ensure the protection of the elderly and my children, but obviously that’s not enough,” says Size.
Kirk Siegler / NPR
Like most other states, immunization rates in New Mexico have recently begun to level off. Health leaders interviewed for this story complained that the outbreak was still occurring, despite the widespread availability of free, easily accessible preventive tools.
Jason Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer of Presbyterian Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said: “We now have an inherently preventable disease, the pandemic is over for vaccinated people, and it’s still raging for unvaccinated people.”
Return to “normal”
Health officials are hoping that the newly launched state lottery will encourage more people to take shots in their arms. Many companies also want the state to reopen altogether. The governor has set a target date for the end of this month to reach 60% and provoke a complete return to pre-pandemic life, or similarities.
Returning to Nob Hill in Albuquerque along Central Avenue, the economic damage to the pandemic is real.
“Walking up and down, there are quite a few vacancies,” says Anthony Chavez. “No one has moved in.”
Chavez, who owns the First Choice Consignment and Decor, had several items for sale on the sidewalk in front of the store before it opened. The Kelly’s Brew Pub next to him is now completely closed. He once relied on spillover customers from the bar and another restaurant with shutters across the street.
Only the flower shop next door is thriving. Chavez would be lucky if he could get a few more customers a day.
“It’s not the word tough, it’s whether I want to keep doing business or sell a house,” he says.
As a business owner, Chavez has barely survived New Mexico’s efforts to contain the virus. He hopes that the state’s high immunization rates mean that customers will be back soon. His unemployment ends in July.
Despite the accumulated odds, New Mexico’s vaccination coverage is close to the top: NPR
Source link Despite the accumulated odds, New Mexico’s vaccination coverage is close to the top: NPR