Your New Mexico Government

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.

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.

Glenn Ford

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. 

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.  

Pixnio

Hospital workers around the U.S. have been speaking up about concerns over working conditions and the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Former UNM Hospital nurse Hunter Marshall says he was threatened with discipline after speaking to the media about staff concerns at the hospital. So he decided to resign, he says, and look for another hospital to work in during the pandemic. Your New Mexico Government spoke with a nurse, a union representatives and doctors at UNMH about PPE and workers' rights to speak out.

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. 

Liam DeBonis / The Daily Lobo

UPDATE, 4/22/20, 2:00 p.m.: Steve Pearce, chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, says the party was not contacted by O’Rion Perry and did not participate in or endorse Take Back New Mexico’s call for businesses to violate the shutdown order.

Pearce said Wednesday Perry is, “putting words into our mouth.” KUNM did reach out to the Republican Party several times on Monday and Tuesday about whether the state’s GOP was backing the effort, as Perry told KUNM in an interview. Pearce’s spokesperson canceled a Monday interview at the last minute.

Courtesy of Sayrah Namaste

Faith-based organizations across the county are providing various community services amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here in New Mexico, the Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee has started a “Farm to Food Bank” project to help local pantries, farmers, and community members – each facing their own challenges around food during this health crisis. Director Sayrah Namaste spoke with KUNM about the program and how it came about.  

pexels.com via CC

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. 

Reva G via Flickr

In New Mexico and across the country, emissions from the oil and gas industry are closely monitored and drinking water is regularly tested to make sure it is safe. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back some of the regulations that ensure such protections – a move that went unnoticed by many as communities respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Screenshot of Facebook Live feed / KUNM

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller showcased a homemade mask in a video briefing on Monday afternoon, April 6, about the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He said their Environmental Health Department has reached out to over 150 nursing facilities to give infection control guidance and remind them of public health orders like halting group activities and dining. KUNM spoke with Mayor Keller over the weekend about other ways the city is working to support residents through the crisis.