Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

Ways to Connect

Megan Kamerick / KUNM

New Mexico is among the ten states with the highest increase in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning many people have lost health insurance coverage as well. The state says no one should have to pay for testing and treatment related to the coronavirus, but some people are still being charged for that care. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal about how the state is trying to help.

YNMG & COVID: Get Covered

May 14, 2020
rawpixel via Wikimedia Commons CC

Access to medical care could not be more important than it is at this moment.  And plenty of people either don’t have health insurance or lost it because they lost their jobs during the pandemic. On Episode 62, we look into what options exist for the underemployed and recently unemployed, what a hospital worker experienced when she got a $1,500 COVID-19 test bill she was not expecting, and we talk to the superintendent of insurance to discover what the state is doing to help.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Antibody tests are meant to detect whether a person has had a prior immune response to a COVID-19 infection. But the accuracy of the antibody tests on the market right now varies widely. Dr. David Grenache, Chief Scientific Officer for TriCore Reference Laboratories, spoke with Your NM Gov host Khalil Ekulona about how antibody tests are important from a population health perspective – to gather data about how many have been exposed – but they cannot tell us yet whether or not an individual has developed an immunity to the virus.

YNMG & COVID: A Test You Can't Study For

May 13, 2020
U.S. Air Force photo by Pedro Tenorio via CC

 

As Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham eases restrictions in New Mexico starting Saturday, we talk about the factors that signal when and how to reopen the country: testing, contact tracing, modeling, antibody tests and treatment. In episode 61, we hear about test expansion and antibody test development, a new treatment involving plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, and what it's like to be sick with the virus. 

YNMG & COVID: Old-School Shoutout Show

May 8, 2020
wallpaperscraft via CC

Episode 60 we maximize the connective power of radio in service of appreciation and love for the people we might not be able to talk to—whether they're in a hospital, somewhere that phone service or net isn't so good, a senior living facility, a jail or prison, or just far away. And if you have any worries we've strayed too far from our mission, you know, with "government" in the name of this show, it's all good. We do have shoutouts from some government officials, too. 

YNMG & COVID: Still Behind The Walls

May 7, 2020
my_southborough via Creative Commons / Creative Commons

Many New Mexicans are being told to stay at home and distance themselves from others to minimize the cases of COVID-19 in the state. But that’s not an option for those stuck in jails and prisons, who usually have close contact with each other in tight spaces. Expanding on an earlier episode, this conversation is all about the dangers that these inmates face – as well as the staff who oversee them and the community at large.

YNMG & COVID: We Can Work It Out

May 6, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

The stay-at-home order is dragging on and things are getting kind of grim. People have been cooped up together for weeks now, money issues are coming to a head, and uncertainty and instability are persistent facts of our everyday lives. After yesterday's discussion of domestic violence, this episode is all about how to get through this difficult time—spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.

Elvert Barnes via Wikimedia Commons CC

In Episode 57, we talk about the dangers that domestic violence survivors face during shelter-in-place orders when home isn’t a safe place. We hear what advocates, agencies, and the government are doing to help survivors of abuse stay safe, and how they’re keeping services running during social distancing.  

YNMG & COVID: Coming Home To A Pandemic

May 1, 2020
Courtesy of Orlando Watts

In episode 55, we return to the conversation around recovery from substance use during the pandemic. It's a special episode devoted to a conversation between Executive Producer Marisa Demarco and her cousin, Orlando Watts, who went to a remote rehab before the pandemic, and then returned home after it was in full swing. A lot of the conversation around reckoning with a loss of control, being present, sitting with discomfort and reaching out to connect could be useful for anyone during this time—not only people in recovery or seeking treatment.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Northern New Mexico’s Rio Arriba County faces new challenges to meet the needs of its residents in recovery. After consistently seeing one of the highest overdose death rates in the country, the county last year received federal grant funding to ramp up programs that prioritize treatment over incarceration. Your New Mexico Government spoke with Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services Director Lauren Reichelt about how the county is working to address the interconnected issues of addiction, homelessness, incarceration and unemployment during the pandemic. 

Scott and White Healthcare / CREATIVE COMMONS

As COVID-19 cases in New Mexico continue to rise, local intensive care units have had to quickly adjust to treating patients who come down with severe symptoms of the virus. Your New Mexico Government recently spoke with John Morgan, an ICU nurse at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, about what it’s like to be on the frontlines treating critical COVID-19 patients and what he wants people calling for the stay-at-home order to be lifted right now to know.

YNMG & COVID: The People Beyond The Numbers

Apr 30, 2020
Courtesy of Alison Keeswood and Mariaelena 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.

YNMG & COVID: Sober In A Shutdown

Apr 29, 2020
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 

Episode 53 is all about re-entering the world from jail or prison during the pandemic, and holding onto your recovery from addiction during quarantine. What does the world feel like right now if you've spent some part of your last years inside a prison? And what do you do if a requirement of your probation or parole is that you find a job when there isn't one to be found? How are folks managing their sobriety during a time of isolation or social distancing? What's keeping them on track? 

YNMG & COVID: Hail The Hospital Workers!

Apr 28, 2020
Marco Verch via Flickr CC

We devote episode 52 to some of the many people working on the front lines of the pandemic caring for COVID patients in New Mexico, sometimes without enough protective gear to feel safe. We ask them what urgent calls to reopen the economy sound like from where they're standing. And we find out how it's going for them, whether they're supported and heard by the institutions they work in. 

YNMG & COVID: Did You Eat?

Apr 27, 2020
Vanessa Bowen

In episode 51, we talk about food access, cooking and gardening during the pandemic. Being able to get healthy food is a problem for many people all the time in New Mexico, but it's become even more of a struggle these last weeks. Many people are working to make sure folks here have food despite new obstacles, like people buying up some items at grocery stores and disrupting the supply chain, social distancing, and extra sanitation precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

YNMG & COVID: Sports Sports Sports

Apr 24, 2020
Courtesy of Chad Cooper

Episode 50 is all about athletes and sports, and the pandemic's impacts on the players, the communities, the economy—and our spirits. What are games like when the stands are empty? How do student athletes support each other as they navigate missed opportunities for big seasons, and maybe scholarships? How do physical activity and teamwork help keep folks connected and on the right track? And what do you do when some of that's gone for a minute? 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued interim guidance saying municipalities should not clear homeless encampments during the pandemic, because that can increase community spread and cause people to lose touch with service providers. The City of Albuquerque is still clearing encampments, but over the last several weeks the Albuquerque Police Department has changed some practices in interacting with people experiencing homelessness, according to APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina. He spoke with Khalil Ekulona, host of Your N.M. Government.

YNMG & COVID: To Be Heard And Counted

Apr 23, 2020
Kodak Views via Flickr CC

Episode 49 is all about the elections that are still coming up and the 2020 census. Advocates tell us that New Mexico is hard to count because it's big, area-wise, and because plenty of communities are intentionally discouraged from filling it out through fear tactics. The census determines how much federal funding comes to the state for all kinds of programs over the next 10 years, and it's how voting districts are determined. If brown and black communities around the U.S. don't participate in the census, advocates tell us, their political power is diluted. 

YNMG: Walking The COVID Beat

Apr 22, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Episode 48 dives back into how the pandemic is affecting people experiencing homelessness. KUNM's Hannah Colton goes further into the story of the city breaking up encampments, despite the CDC advising against it during this time, and she brings us the perspective of Cypher Johnson, who's passing through Albuquerque and spending time on the streets. We talk to people who work with unsheltered folks around the state about what an outbreak at a shelter would mean for the whole community, about what needs to change right now—and what needs to change in the future. We also hear from the Albuquerque Police Department and the Las Cruces Police Department about how coronavirus has changed things for them philosophically and practically. 

YNMG & COVID: Checking For Those Checks

Apr 21, 2020
Jernej Furman via Flickr CC

Episode 47 is all about this relief money folks have been promised. Where's that unemployment? That stimulus money? That small business relief? That food assistance?

Matthew Bisanz / Wikimedia Commons

  The number of grandparents raising their grandkids has been rising all over the country, and especially in New Mexico. Those folks might be affected by a last-minute deadline the IRS announced Monday, April 20. People who get federal benefits—and who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019—only have until Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. MST to fill out a form on the online IRS portal to get stimulus money for their dependents.

YNMG & COVID: Making It Happen

Apr 20, 2020
courtesy of CNM

We devote Episode 46 to local companies and makers who have switched up what they create or kicked production into high gear to make personal protective equipment and parts for ventilators. They're trying to fill the gaps at hospitals, for first responders and for other essential workers in New Mexico. 

YNMG & COVID: Update, Unpack, Look Back

Apr 17, 2020
NASA Goddard Photo via Flickr CC

In episode 45, we take a look back on four weeks of COVID coverage on the show. We offer about updates to stories we covered, revisit interviews and examine the impact to our lives and what we’ve learned in covering the pandemic so far.

Reese Brown via CC

In episode 44, we talk about CDC data and state data showing that the virus is harming, disproportionately, brown and black people around the U.S.—and here at home. We hear from Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez about the bureaucratic hurdles to accessing billions of dollars allotted to tribes in the relief package, and why that money hasn't reached the ground yet, despite the dire public health emergency unfolding for tribes.

YNMG & COVID: Essential, Just Not Paid Like It

Apr 15, 2020
Kaleb Snay for Columbus Air Force Base via CC

 

In episode 43, we talk about how not everybody's at home waiting out the pandemic. We hear from people around the state who are still employed and in public—but who don't make a lot of money—about their working conditions, their support from their employers and their fears about the virus.

Canva / Creative Commons

An Albuquerque church with thousands of members, Legacy Church, is suing the state of New Mexico over a public health order church leaders say violates first amendment protections. The lawsuit comes after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Saturday that houses of worship are no longer exempt from a rule  limiting gatherings to five people. KUNM spoke with Legacy Church Pastor Daniel McCabe about what he hopes to get out of the lawsuit.

YNMG & COVID: Keeping The Faith

Apr 14, 2020
Terry Presley via Flickr CC

In episode 42, we talk to people of diverse faith backgrounds about how the pandemic is affecting them and their worship practices. On Monday, Legacy Church filed a lawsuit against the state, saying Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's weekend order banning gatherings—even in places of worship—was unconstitutional.  We spoke about the lawsuit with Legacy Church Pastor Daniel McCabe, who clarified what they're fighting for. 

pexels.com / CREATIVE COMMONS

News outlets around the country are struggling to stay afloat as the pandemic debilitates businesses they depend on for ad revenue. The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Santa Fe Reporter have announced layoffs and salary cuts, and the Gallup Independent is moving its entire staff to part-time. On Monday, President Trump once again attacked the news media in a campaign-style video during a press briefing. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Tom Udall is calling for the next federal relief package to include funding for local news outlets. 

YNMG & COVID: No News Is Bad News

Apr 13, 2020
Jon S via Flickr CC

In episode 41, we're tackling the impact of the shutdowns on local news outlets and thinking about the public service of journalism, and reporters and producers as essential information disseminators. We also hear about a proposal to include funds specifically for local news, as papers and broadcasters make impossible choices while they try to cover the pandemic for their communities.

David Jackmanson / flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

The New Mexico Supreme Court in March ordered a halt to evictions for people who can’t make rent amid the pandemic. But last Thursday a property owner in Albuquerque tried to evict a family from Africa. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Nkazi Sinandile, President of the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, about the challenges faced by her community and how that eviction was still happening. 

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