pandemic

Marcelo Leal via Unsplash / Creative Commons

State health officials announced Wednesday, Aug. 25, that as COVID-19 cases continue to spike, New Mexico has an unprecedented waiting list for ICU beds and that the state is on the brink of having to ration care. 

Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/US Marine Corps / Associated Press


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/26 8 am: Thousands of people are fleeing Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced that New Mexico is ready to welcome them with open arms. How can our state best ready itself to receive these refugees? What type of services are already available? How will all of this work while we are still struggling with a global pandemic? On this week’s episode, we’ll be talking to folks who work with New Mexico’s refugee population, as well as the refugees themselves, about their experiences and how they think our state should respond to this sudden need. 

Leohoho via Unsplash / Creative Commons

Amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Mexico, and as the vaccination rate stagnates, the state announced Tuesday, Aug. 17, it is reimplementing a statewide mask mandate. 

George Hodan / Public Domain

A chance for New Mexicans to get health insurance for the remainder of the year ends this weekend. Some people can qualify for free or low-cost plans during the pandemic.

Cases of the COVID delta variant are surging nationwide, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week to issue new guidance for vaccinated people to mask up in areas with high transmission rates. But if infections continue to rise, some Western states have limited how officials can respond.

Idaho, Montana and Utah recently passed laws softening local or executive authority during a public health crisis.

News Brief

The U.S. is facing a jet fuel shortage this summer. It’s causing long delays at airports across the West as well as some concern among aerial firefighters.

“The whole aviation community is pitching in and working together to try to alleviate this problem,” said Kevin Condit, a spokesperson for Neptune Aviation Services in Montana.

Alachua County via Flickr CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/8 8am: Have you noticed “help wanted” signs in the windows of your favorite restaurants and businesses? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos in the economy for more than a year, and now there’s a labor shortage. Last week Axios reported 10 million Americans out of work, yet there are 9 million vacant positions waiting to be filled. Employers are frustrated, sometimes offering higher wages and hiring bonuses to get the help they need. Others are opting to close businesses earlier or stay closed on less busy days because they don’t have the staff for normal hours. Some business owners are angry, blaming the government for the pandemic related unemployment insurance bonuses they see as motivation for workers to stay home. 

Nash Jones / KUNM

It’s been a month since fully-vaccinated New Mexicans were allowed to stop wearing face masks in most public spaces and businesses got a choice as to whether to require them of all customers. Still, reaction to the newfound flexibility remains varied and somewhat confusing for both businesses and their customers. 

Stansbury campaign

Tuesday night Albuquerque Democrat Melanie Stansbury celebrated her victory with a crowd chanting her name after winning the congressional seat left open when Deb Haaland was asked to serve as President’s Biden’s Interior Secretary.

Stansbury flouted her Albuquerque roots and a working-class upbringing through the campaign and during a victory speech at Hotel Albuquerque.

No More Normal: Gun Violence Part 1

May 16, 2021
Courtesy of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence

As of Friday, May 14, there have been nearly 16,000 deaths due to guns so far this year in the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial equity, and the general election dominated our attention, but that doesn’t mean that other serious matters like gun violence disappeared. Data from the archive shows that nearly 20,000 Americans died by guns last year—the highest total number of deaths in at least the last two decades. The problem didn’t go away. Our attention did. In episode 29 we take a look at the problem of gun violence in America, where we stand and what can be done about it.

New Mexico Working To Solve Disparate Vaccine Rates

Apr 19, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 In the race for herd immunity, New Mexico is being heralded around the country as an unlikely frontrunner. Over half of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. But when it comes to some demographics hit hardest by the virus, vaccination rates are falling short. The numbers continue to highlight what the pandemic put into sharp relief—structural racism interfering with public health efforts.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Local artisans who rely heavily on markets and festivals to sell their products were hard hit during the pandemic as many events were canceled, postponed, or reduced their capacities. In response, new opportunities popped up around Albuquerque for these creative vendors to showcase their goods. As the Downtown Growers’ Market kicks off Saturday, April 17, with more vendors and customers than last year, some of the pandemic-era solutions for local artists are set to stick around. 

No More Normal: A Year In Pandemic

Mar 14, 2021
bug carlson


 Twelve months ago, team NoMoNo was busy having conversations about how we were going to make a show that covered the response to a global pandemic. What did we want to talk about? What was not being talked about? What was the vital info? What were the nuances? What life-and-death decisions were being made by public officials? Who needed help—and where is the help? We’ve worked hard over the last year to provide those answers. 

No More Normal: When Piggy Banks Fly

Feb 6, 2021
Eva Avenue


We get into what money really is. We take a dive into a bill that looks to create a public bank. We talk with a member of a financial innovation group about how universal basic income has helped businesses during the pandemic. We grapple with student loans. We hear the journey of how difficult it is to start a business as a pandemic is raging. And we have a talk with the secretary of workforce solutions about where the jobs are going to be.

Nash Jones / KUNM

As New Mexico schools got the go-ahead last month from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to resume partial in-person teaching beginning Feb. 8, revised re-entry plans have come before districts for debate. The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education on Wednesday, Feb. 3, postponed a decision about students going back to the classroom after several hours of discussion. Prior to the board meeting, protesters gathered outside the district's headquarters.

Arianna Sena / KUNM


Coronavirus has infiltrated the Roundhouse, where New Mexico’s legislators are in the early weeks of a 60-day session. Since mid-January when the session began, at least three people in the capital have tested positive for the virus, including one GOP lawmaker. On Friday, Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf announced new rules, restricting participation in committee meetings to Zoom, and closing the House floor to most lawmakers. KUNM spoke with Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS.

New Mexico PBS

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the annual State of the State address on Jan. 26, 2021, from the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. This speech was pre-recorded due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We annotate the transcript with our Your N.M. Government media partners New Mexico PBS and The Santa Fe Reporter, as well as New Mexico Political Report and the Farmington Daily Times. Find that here along with the video of her speech. 

Ted Eytan / Wikimedia Commons

  A lockdown was imposed at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in response to a mob of hundreds of pro-Trump extremists who stormed the building. Freshman U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, who represents New Mexico’s northern third congressional district, was inside with her colleagues conducting the people’s business of certifying the electoral college results. Hours later, KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona checked in with the representative.

 

University Showcase Friday, 11/20, 8a: On this episode we meet Dr. Tracie Collins, the women selected this month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to be the new secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health. Collins has served as Dean of the UNM College of Population Health since 2019.

Margaret Wright

On Saturday, Nov. 7, just after the presidential race was called for Biden, hundreds turned up on the steps of the state’s capital for a rally against election results--though there has not yet been evidence of fraud. And a quick content warning: This story contains antagonism based in transphobia.  

Wow, we just had a tense bunch of days, each one filled with anticipation and impatience and consternation. From people worrying about how the election was going to play out, to some keeping an eye on potential violence, it would be an understatement to say that anxieties were high. It makes sense, 2020 has been mad anxious as my East Coast compatriots would say. But the electoral college digits that just wouldn’t move are not the only numbers the United States has to grapple with. Most of the country spent so much of their attention on the election, news of record- breaking new covid cases barely cut through the din. No matter who’s in charge, we’ve got a lot in front of us.

No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Nov 1, 2020
Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

Lonnie Anderson

For months, demonstrators fighting police violence and racism have been calling for the state to release Albuquerque protest organizer Clifton White from prison. His wife, Selinda Guerrero, said she was surprised by a call from Santa Rosa prison staff on Thursday saying she should come pick him up. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

During the presidential debate a week ago, moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump to denounce white supremacy. Trump sidestepped the question and instead told a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by.” The next day, I caught up with Art Simoni, who once would have called himself conservative, and who was my editor when I was a student reporter nearly 20 years ago.

Transcript:

EraserGirl / Wikimedia Commons via CC


  Ballots started making their way to mailboxes all around the state today. Request yours at NMvote.org

 

The U.S. Postal Service has been in the spotlight this year as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But actions by the Trump administration to cut into funding to the Postal Service has drawn scrutiny and raised questions about whether voters can be sure their ballot will get where it needs to be on time. KUNM caught up with Ken Fajardo, president of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 380, Albuquerque.

FELICIA MONTOYA, MARKUS WALL, KEMA

Tuesday, Oct. 6, is the last day in New Mexico that you can register to vote by mail or online for this election, though you can register in-person at your county clerk's office up through Halloween.

More people are facing homelessness around the country, advocates say, though it’s hard to pin down numbers so far. And economists project the crisis could get worse. In New Mexico, people without a home address can still register and vote on the politicians who are making the decisions about jobs, rent and economic relief during the pandemic. KUNM with Rachel Biggs, policy director for Albuquerque’s Health Care For The Homeless. She’s working on voter registration and mobilization for the unhoused population here—and around the country.

No More Normal: Get Out And Vote

Oct 4, 2020
Felicia Montoya, Markus Wall, Kema

Millions of people around the U.S. have already voted early. Simultaneously many people are preparing to fill out their ballots, but are concerned with how they will deliver them, and, more importantly, if their vote will be counted. So many questions. Here at NoMoNo, we are going to dig deep to find answers for you. Episode 11 is all about preserving and exercising your right to vote. We talk with New Mexico's secretary of state, the president of the Albuquerque chapter of the American Postal Workers Union, a national election law expert, activists who protecting voting rights for underserved communities—and voters.

WyoFile via Flickr / Creative Commons

The news that President Trump contracted coronavirus raised a lot of questions about what could happen this election cycle, which is already under the unusual pressure of a pandemic. KUNM spoke with Lonna Atkeson from the University of New Mexico’s Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy this afternoon to find out some of the answers. She described what her morning had been like since speculation and word of Trump’s possible illness started sweeping the globe.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The crew at NoMoNo headquarters takes a look at where we’ve been since the pandemic started, reflecting a little—hard to find time to do it when we’re all stuck in an unending news cycle. But hopefully, this is a pleasant look back if you’ve been hanging in there with us. We want to thank all of you who listened to the show when it was Your New Mexico Government back in March—you know, 1,000 years ago.

The National Guard via Flickr

About a quarter of COVID-19 patients in nursing homes die, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

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