Some areas in the U.S. may be seeing a "flattening of the curve,” but for minority groups, like the Navajo people, the struggles of this pandemic are just beginning. For the Navajo community, they face exponential suffering and loss. Navajo individuals are extremely vulnerable, for one in five has diabetes and one in three suffers from obesity. Both underlying conditions make COVID-19 particularly dangerous. The Navajo and other surrounding tribes experience infection rates higher than big cities across the country.
I (Lauren) am a Critical Care RN working full-time on the COVID-19 Unit at Banner University in Phoenix, AZ, and I can tell you that a majority of our patients are Native American.
We have seen entire Navajo families airlifted to our facility in critical condition. Many Navajo hospitals are not equipped to care for ventilated patients. Almost all COVID-19 patients are flown to facilities in Phoenix and surrounding states, away from their families and homeland.
Many have to use FaceTime to say goodbye to their loved ones in their final moments. Many are loaded onto medical helicopters knowing they may never see their family or homeland again. Many awaken from medically induced comas to learn multiple family members have died.
· Navajo Nation has been hit the #1 worst per capita in the ENTIRE country
· Native American people have 4x the mortality rate than all other minority groups combined.
· 20% of COVID 19 deaths in Arizona to date are Native Americans.
· 30% of homes in Navajo communities do not have running water, making frequent hand washing nearly impossible.
· Many Navajo families live under the same roof, making social distancing nearly impossible.
· Navajo Nation sprawls across 27,000 square miles with large deserts and many miles between them and access to health care, food and running water.
50% of the donations to this GoFundMe will support the relief efforts of Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief- a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that purchases, packages and delivers food, water and supplies directly to the doorsteps of Navajo and Hopi families. Find their link here: https://www.navajohopisolidarity.org/
50% of the donations to this GoFundMe will provide PPE, medical supplies, equipment and compassion fatigue relief to COVID-19 frontline health care workers in hospitals across the Navajo community.
Following #StayHome orders, social distancing, and using personal masks are acts of solidarity to offer protection to the vulnerable and #flattenthecurve.
Let’s find our humanity in this COVID-19 crisis and together, stand up for our brothers and sisters who need us now more than ever before.
Lauren Leander, BSN, RN, CCRN
Brittany Schilling, BSN, RN, CCRN
Jasmine Bhatti, PhD(c), MS, BSN
Jade Juriansz, BSN, RN
Facts from: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/navajo-nation-hit-hard-by-covid-19-comes-together-to-protect-its-most-vulnerable
Photo Credit: Kristin Murphy/Deseret News
This campaign is not associated with the official Navajo Nation fundraising campaign. The official Navajo Nation COVID-19 fundraising campaign can be located at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/official-navajo-nation-covid19-relief-fund.
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