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

Remembering The Lives Of New Mexicans Lost To COVID-19, And Coping With Grief

Glenn Ford
Ruth M. Ford (1928-2020), circa 1995.

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/7, 8a: Behind each coronavirus-related death is a human who was loved, who lived a complex life, and who leaves behind a unique legacy for their family, friends and community. This week on Let's Talk New Mexico, we're taking time to memorialize four New Mexicans who died from COVID-19. We'll hear about their joys, their hobbies, their contributions, and how they'll be remembered by their loved ones. How are you dealing with the overwhelming human impact of the pandemic? What brings you comfort amidst the daily flood of case numbers and outbreak data? If you want to share, email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in during the show at (505) 277-5866. 

In conversations for a recent episode of Your N.M. Government, we'll hear from Mariaelena Lopez, who tells us all about her mom and best friend, Maxine Roybal Lopez, who taught her 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 Keeswood, who loved sports and video games, and who was her true counterpart. 

Glenn Ford tells us about his mom, Ruth M. Ford, who was committed to women's education, and who was an excellent homemaker and cook.

Credit courtesy of Alison Keeswood and Mariaelena Lopez
Alison and Vladimir Keeswood and Maxine Roybal Lopez

On the line, we'll have Kelly Geib-Eckenroth of the Children's Grief Center of New Mexico.


  • 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 3:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. every day. They also can do text conversations 6 p.m.-11 p.m. 
  • If you’re in crisis, the number there is 1-855-NM-CRISIS. That line is open every day, all day. 
  • If you’re a hospital worker or a first responder and you want to talk to someone, the number is: 1-855-507-5509. 
  • The state's Grief Services Program with the Office of the Medical Investigator offers counseling and therapy, crisis intervention, referrals, group facilitation and advocacy. Reach out by calling 1-800-432-5239.

We feel so much gratitude to all of the guests for speaking to Your New Mexico Government last week. 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.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, the Santa Fe Reporter, and New Mexico PBS. 

KUNM's public health coverage is supported in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and by listeners like you.


    Hannah served as news director at KUNM and reported on education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She died in November 2020.
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