On a recent visit to the Navajo Nation, I sat with my parents in their garage while KTNN, a local Navajo radio station, played in the background. I listened to the beat of Navajo traditional two-step music and skip dance songs, thinking about the time in elementary school that my late grandmother stayed up all night to make me a traditional Navajo outfit for a fundraising event.
In between songs, messages in Diné encouraged listeners to stay home, pleading with the public to think of the safety and well-being of the Navajo Nation’s most vulnerable people — our elders.
Since the pandemic hit, memories and thoughts of my grandmother are ever present. The coronavirus, as of Aug. 4, has infected 9,139 people on the Navajo Nation and killed 462, many of them elderly.