Navajo Nation COVID-19 statistics appear to be quite depressing. Overall, the Navajo Nation infection rate per capita is higher than anywhere in the United States. According to Navajo leaders' opinion, the Navajo population infection rate outpaces hot spots such as New York. The statistics of Navajo Times show that approximately 919 people died of the coronavirus considering a small population of 173,000 people.
The Navajo Nation is situated on 27,000 square miles spreading across Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. A total of 26.383 cases have been reported by January 2021. Thus, the infection rate reached 7.4% of the Navajo population. The authorities say that a lack of good infrastructure primarily resulted in these grim statistics. However, this is not the only reason for the state of things.
So, let's look into the Navajo Nation coronavirus situation and indicate the main issues.
Navajo Nation Population
The Navajo Nation reservation occupies three US states - Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, being a semi-autonomous territory. The Navajo people call themselves the Dine. This is a really heroic nation whose history is associated with dispossession and deprivations. The most noticeable episode in Navajo history was the "Long Walk" when they were removed from their homelands in 1864. Navajo people had to walk more than 500 kilometers till they reached New Mexico to be forcibly held in internment camps.
The Navajo population is bigger than in any other reservation represented in the country. However, the Nation's territory mainly covers canyons and deserts. This fact also makes it difficult to counteract the coronavirus' spread.
The sovereign Navajo Nation was established in 1868 when their leaders signed a treaty with the USA. It promised them better infrastructure, water access, and funding for healthcare. Although were these commitments fully kept? At this point, the Navajo Nation faces serious challenges such as the lack of basic amenities, hunger, infrastructure problems, or underfunding of healthcare. Besides, it was declared that 44% of total Navajo residents live below the poverty line.
Coronavirus Current Situation
The first COVID-19 case in the Navajo Nation was reported on 15 March. According to Navajo Times current statistics, the percentage of residents who tested positive varied between 7% and 18% in the last three months.
In comparison with any other state in the US, the Navajo Nation infection rate is extremely high. The emergency measures have already been undertaken. However, the total lockdown, wearing masks in public, and inhibited movement do not significantly contribute to the resistance of the coronavirus spread. The Centers for Disease Control provided guidelines to secure people from the risk of infection. Nonetheless, the Navajo Nation often fails to meet these measures because of the poor living conditions.
The situation caused by COVID-19 brought the social inequality and economic disparity of Navajo to the front. The Bureau of Indian Affairs declared that they provided the Navajo residents with technical assistance such as contamination trailers and protective equipment. Still, some authorities and Navajo leaders do not consider these measures to be sufficient. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said, “You got the feds, you got everybody saying, ‘Wash your hands with soap and water,’ but our people are still hauling water. Here’s a great opportunity for us to get running water to the Navajo people”.
The Reasons Why Navajo Nation Has Been Hit So Hard by the COVID-19
As we can see, the Navajo Nation faces serious challenges. Thus, there are numerous reasons why so many people have contracted the coronavirus. There are the most significant of them:
The lack of healthcare professionals
The salaries for medical personnel are comparatively low. Thus, this is quite difficult to recruit healthcare professionals. This factor is crucial to deliver medical services of high quality for Navajo residents.
Poor medical facilities
Overall, the Navajo healthcare resources are limited. There is one hospital bed for approximately 900 people at a rough estimate. This is three times worse when comparing with the national rate. It resulted in the transformation of some patients to hospitals outside the residence.
The lack of basic amenities
These simple household facilities such as running water or electricity are taken for granted by most American people. But a large number of Navajo residents are deprived of them. This fact makes it difficult to wash their hands regularly to prevent infection. To pick up some water, many people have to go several miles and wait in long lines.
A lot of Navajo people live in multigenerational homes to support elder relatives. The elderly generation is more vulnerable to infection, and it is almost impossible to prevent its spread within a single home.
Underfunding for healthcare and infrastructure
According to the treaty between the Navajo Nation and the US government, there were agreements on proper funding for infrastructure and healthcare. It also included contributing to better water access. However, Washington regularly fails to keep these promises. The Indian Health Service that provides healthcare for reservations faces underfunding.
In wrapping up, the Navajo Nation faces a great many challenges. And the COVID-19 aggravates the situation. It brought to light many social, economic and psychological problems that existed long before this crisis. However, there are some important lessons to be learned as well as great topics for research papers. On a related note, if you need some help with any type of academic work in psychology, there is a good custom writing service - Get Psychology Essay. Professional writers with relevant degrees will provide you with assistance and make your paper a success.