It’s hard not to look at national and state news and be down about the world right now. Many of us are horrified by the videos we’ve seen coming out of Afghanistan this week. Our thoughts are with the families over there and the terror they must be feeling, as well with of our own veterans at home and what this week’s news has done for them. We certainly want all of our Afghanistan veterans to know that their bravery is still very much appreciated and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
On a state and local level, we came into this summer overjoyed that it felt like the COVID-19 pandemic had finally been pushed back. Over the past month, however, our numbers have again gone up significantly. COVID-19 hospitalizations have also gone back up, and we have residents telling us that some of their routine procedures, such as therapy, are being cancelled due to the need for nurses.
To address the recent surge, on Tuesday the state announced a return to an indoor mask requirement for all New Mexico residents by Friday, regardless of vaccination status. This new mandate runs through Sept. 15. There are also new vaccine policies for teachers and health care providers, during a period in which we are already desperate for teachers and health care providers.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like an obstacle that was overcome is now back in front of us, and that’s what it seems like with both the COVID-19 uptick and with other world events. Nobody is looking forward to fighting battles that seem like they’ve already been fought.
It is during times like this that we rely on the fact that we have a wonderful community with so many giving individuals. Last year, organizations such as the United Way, Packs for Hunger and the Faith, Hope Love Foundation stepped up over and over again to provide assistance to those in need. We also had individuals such as Janell Whitlock who organized card drives to provide correspondence to seniors who felt isolated. Again, this year, we enjoy hearing about all of the donations being made to support our schools. Thank you all for always looking for ways to help, even when some of the challenges feel unending.
This Friday, Carlsbad and Artesia will face off in the annual Eddy County War. In March, we were facing the prospect of having to play the game in an empty stadium when everyone was able to work together and move the game to Hobbs, where friends and family could attend. It was a great example of teamwork. This year’s Eddy County war is taking place in the stadium where it is supposed to be taking place, and during the right time of year. There’s still a long road ahead, but we know that we have a resilient community that will keep fighting.