COVID-19 & Kotah Bear
The Navajo Nation now has the third highest number of COVID-19 infections per capita in the United States, following New York and New Jersey.
The Navajo Nation's reservation covers 27,000 square miles total of the "Four Corners" area in the United States with the low population density of seven people per mile.
To an outsider, the Navajo reservation would seem like the perfect place to ride out a global pandemic. But due to the perfect storm created by effects of chronic inequality, not the least of which include things like lack of running water in many homes and an underfunded health care system, the COVID-19 virus has run rampant. The rate of those who test positive and then pass away is large. Updated statistics can be viewed at this link to the Navajo Department of Health's website: https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19
Residents of the Navajo Nation rely almost exclusively on businesses in towns which border outside the reservation. They supply the majority of water, groceries, feed for livestock, household items, cars, mobile homes, fast food, etc. and sadly for Kotah Bear artisans, jewelry making supplies.
Since the pandemic began, the Navajo Nation and border towns have enacted strict curfews with large fines for violators, guidelines, and shutdowns to try and stem the spread of COVID-19. The most recent and serious of these affected the city of Gallup, New Mexico last week when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act to lock down the entire city. This city is of one of the biggest border towns with many crucial businesses for those who live on the Navajo Nation and adjacent Pueblo tribes.
Many Pueblo tribes have closed their reservations (which are much smaller compared to the Navajo Nation) to non-residents and are enforcing strict travel guidelines for their citizens.
With border towns and their businesses closed, it is basically impossible for our Navajo and Pueblo artisans to obtain needed supplies for creation and repair. For the moment, the majority of custom orders, restocks, and repairs have been suspended. We have been hoping for a swift end to this pandemic and the horrible effects on those who are suffering or have lost loved ones.
Those of you with outstanding repairs, please contact us if you would like a refund or exchange: https://kotahbear.com/pages/contact-us If you prefer to wait, we plan on finishing the repairs as soon as things reopen.
We will keep this updated as new information becomes available.
Thank you so much for your understanding, patience, and support!