The Navajo Nation continues to be hit hard by COVID-19. The community has reported nearly 7,000 cases and more than 330 deaths. Leaders have ordered businesses closed on weekends in a community that is spread across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The Navajo Nation’s preexisting conditions like poverty, limited running water, and close living situations make it extra vulnerable to coronavirus.
The lockdowns have made it challenging for people to access the resources they need, says Donnie Begay, who along with his wife, Renee, directs the Nations Movement, a campus ministry that’s part of Cru.
“On the Navajo Nation, there are only about a dozen food grocery stories that cover 27,000 square miles that is the Navajo reservation,” said Begay, who lives in Albuquerque. Many on the reservation live at least an hour away from the border of the reservations and these lockdowns cut them off from the businesses on the other side.
“These lockdowns can be very cumbersome to people who need to drive an hour or more just to buy groceries or necessities and food during the pandemic,” said Begay.
Begay joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the community’s complex relationship with Christianity, why they’re uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19, and how Navajo millennials are making their faith their own.
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The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
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