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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: The People Beyond The Numbers

Courtesy of Alison Keeswood and Mariaelena Lopez
Alison Keeswood and Vladimir Keeswood. And Maxine Roybal Lopez.

Your New Mexico Government honors the memory of four people whose lives were ended by COVID 19. These are not conversations about the virus, nor about the state of New Mexico's response in episode 54. Today we talk about the people, who they were and how they lived. Beyond the data, numbers or projections, it's about the humans who lived and the legacies they have left with their families and communities.

We hear from Mariaelena Lopez, who tells us all about her mom and best friend, Maxine Roybal Lopez, who taught her all about never giving up and pushing yourself to succeed.


One of the people we spoke was hesitant to use her name in the interview, because online she'd been trolled for speaking out about how her mom died due to the virus. She was happy to share stories about her mom though, who was an expert seamstress and who loved to learn and improve on methods for creating handiwork. 


Alison Keeswood brings us stories about her husband Vladimir, who loved sports and video games, and who was her true counterpart. 


And Glenn Ford tells us about his mom, Ruth Ford, who was committed to women's education, and who was an excellent homemaker and cook, whipping up batches of baked goods for the community that sometimes didn't make it out the door because her kids would find them first.


We feel so much gratitude to all of the guests for speaking to us today. And we’d also like to thank spokesperson Judy Gibbs Robinson with the state, as well as Elise Kaplan, Matt Reisen and Martin Salazar at the Albuquerque Journal for introducing us to them.


We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.



  • Anyone who is feeling alone or down or who just needs to talk to someone, check in with New Mexico’s Peer-to-Peer Warmline: 1-855-4NM-7100. They’re open between 3:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. every day. They also can do text conversations with you between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. 
  • If you’re in crisis, the number there is 1-855-NMcrisis. That one is open around the clock, every day of the year. 
  • If you’re a hospital worker or a first responder and you want to talk to someone, that’s a phone call away, too. That number is: 1-855-507-5509
  • The state offers a whole bunch of free resources for people who are grieving through the Grief Services Program with the Office of the Medical Investigator. They offer counseling and therapy, crisis intervention, referrals, group facilitation and advocacy. Reach out there by calling 1-800-432-5239.

How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.


Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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