As Covid-19 Tears Through Navajo Nation, Young People Step Up to Protect Their Elders

May 26, 2020

(STAT News) – In recent weeks, similar messages have resounded across the Navajo Nation, as younger generations have come to play a pivotal grassroots role in the pandemic response. They have moved quickly for good reason. Navajo residents have been devastated as the virus has swept through a reservation that spans four states. Already, 4,633 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 153 have died as of May 23, a staggering toll in a population of 356,000 — and the highest infection rate of anywhere in the U.S. Young Navajos are motivated, in large part, by a desire to protect their elders — many of whom have underlying health conditions and who are at high risk of Covid-19 — and the vital cultural knowledge they carry.