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A Memorial For Covid-19 Moves Forward

Covid 19 Antigen Test Two negative covid-19 antigen tests
Covid 19 Antigen Test Two negative covid-19 antigen tests

A Senate Joint Memorial that supports the construction of a permanent Covid-19 memorial has been given a do pass vote from the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee.

SJM 1 lists impacts connected with Covid-19; The implications of stay-at-home orders, the disproportionate effect on low-income communities, the toll it took on Native American groups, the essential workers that continued to provide services and the more that 8,800 New Mexicans that perished.

Presenter Senator Harold Pope begins to explain who this memorial is for.

“A memorial for those that lost family members and friends, giving them a place to memorialize those that they lost. The fact is you had folks that died in hospitals and some of them couldn’t be with their loved ones. You had folks that we’ve lost and they were unable to have a proper service for someone, or even attend ''

Expert for the memorial, Janeth Del Prado, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and trauma healing expert, explains grief in this situation.

“Our Grief has been exacerbated, prolonged and denied by the social climate of the pandemic. We have not yet had proper acknowledgment of our losses, and from what I know from my work as a therapist is that when pain is not acknowledged or given space to be processed, it transforms into problems such as anxiety, depression and addiction. A memorial would help us to move forward with our grief in a more healthy way.”

Del Prado describes the layout of the memorial that would be constructed on state trust land in Bernalillio County.

“The memorial is reflective of our rich traditions and Cultural diversity in New Mexico. It is a pilgrimage walk with picato walls and small shells for offerings brought by mourners and colorful gardens. At the end of the pilgrimage visitors will see the stone cliff which will have a digital component.”

The digital component is planned to be an augmented reality experience that can be viewed on a mobile device to help contextualize the numbers of those lost.

Senator Pope said the funding for this project will be coming from Bernalillo and Las Cruces Counties as well as from a capital outlay bill.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.