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YNMG: Love In The Time Of COVID

It's springtime, and love is in the air — but the virus is making things complicated. In episode 65, we explore the changes COVID has wrought for many kinds of love: for family, for friends, for oneself, for longtime spouses, and yes, for lovers. A relationship expert schools us on healthy communication, risk assessment, and creative ways to date safely. And New Mexicans, whether they're partnered, dating, or single, share how they're navigating new challenges around connection and intimacy in their stay-at-home lives.

We hear from Albuquerque relationship expert and sex educator Hunter Riley of Self Serveon dating amid the pandemic, how conversations about the risks of STIs and the coronavirus can be similar and different, and how folks can go about getting their relational needs met, safely, in extraordinary circumstances. (Content advisory: this segment acknowledges the existence of sex.)

Our other guests give us a peek into their home lives, sharing about finding new rhythms with loved ones in the shutdown, learning to love friends and alone time in deeper ways, balancing the need for human connection with safety concerns, and growing closer despite the interpersonal, economic, and emotional stresses of the pandemic. Many thanks to Alyssa Atias, Maggie Grimason, Rob Nakai, Vanessa Bowen, Erin Saulsbury, Bill Nevens, Quinn Fati, Elisa McGovern, and Katie Farmin.

And a news update: The number of cases is rising among N.M. prison inmates and at ICE detention centers, according to the Santa Fe Reporter.Senator Tom Udall announced that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general will review ICE’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus. 

State officials announced 163 new cases today, bringing the statewide total to 6,472. Doña Ana County has the most new cases. They also said there were 11 deaths, which means the total number of fatalities stands at 294. 

The governor announced yesterday that the virus seems to have peaked in the state, SFR reports, and restaurants, spas and gyms will likely open on June 1.

The Navajo Nation is reporting 100 new cases, bringing the total there to 4,253. According to KRQE, the government is doing large-scale testing there, and there will be a lockdown again this weekend. The state of emergency declaration and closure of government offices will be in place at least until June 7. 

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling for a special session to begin on June 18 to patch the roughly $2 billion dollar hole in the state’s budget, according to New Mexico In Depth. She said she’s hoping public schools won’t experience cuts. Senator John Arthur Smith, one of the primary author’s of the state’s budget, told the news outlet that savings and federal money should mean schools don’t bear the brunt of the burden. 

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.


How are things going for you? We'd love to hear about it. Share your pandemic 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.

Thanks to Vanessa Bowen, Michael Ellis and Lloyd Thrap for the artwork for this episode.

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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