The Rev. Kris Pikaart is a chaplain for Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services in Gallup, New Mexico, a town that borders the Navajo Nation.
Sometimes I get a sense of, ‘I’m going to need a six-month sabbatical just to begin to make sense of this.'”The “this” Pikaart is referring to is not just the coronavirus outbreak, but the particularly devastating toll it’s taken on the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the U.S., with more than 25,000 square miles of territory spanning portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
As of June 1, the Navajo Nation reported 5,479 cases of COVID-19 and 248 deaths – up from148 cases and 5 death in late March. By mid-May, the reservation, home to about 175,000 people, had surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the country. It has become the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic.
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