The Vaccine

A photo of A Ripple’s president from today, a couple of miles from Shiprock hospital, New Mexico, USA.  

Dr. Suzanne willfully came to the Navajo Nation in May of 2020, during the hight of an unknown pandemic. At that time, the Navajo had the highest infection rate in all of the USA, the country with the highest numbers of Covid cases in the world.  

Here on the reservation 14 months ago, it was desperate. Many elders of the Navajo, some only speaking their native tongue, dying from this grave virus. Patients in the hall of an overcrowded emergency room. 

Unfortunately nothing progressed when working here in September, even as the Navajo Nation was on strict lockdown. Many tribal elders, story tellers, historians, moved on to the Great Spirit.  

Months later on the rez, working over the holidays and into 2021 saw little change, as even the young Navajo were dying from this contagion. 

For the past year, every single shift Dr. Suzanne worked, the vast majority of her patients were affected by Covid. Some looking for oxygen, others, the Eagle Guide. Suzanne estimates that 4 out of 5 patience she saw were fighting this illness we now know too well.

Today is July 2nd, 2021, and our good doctor rarely sees a Navajo with Covid-19.

Again, in the past few weeks, days go by without caring for an elder or a young Native American dealing with Covid. A drastic difference and obviously a welcomed change.  

Considering all rational and variables, there’s only one reason that this great desert is experiencing a sea change in public health.


Here on a lonely road stands an “H”, the internationally known sign that a hospital is near. Or because of this life saving vaccine, does it now stand for Healthy? Or maybe Hygienic, Helpful, Hardy, Honest, or Healing? 

Today, Suzanne and all emergency doctors are just Happy.

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