The latest on COVID-19

We know social distancing doesn't mean current events distancing, as everyone seems to be glued to news sites and social media right now, but we'll update you on what went down over the weekend with regards to COVID-19 anyway.

– Our state now has 17 presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus (and if you don't know what "presumptive positive" means, here's a good explanation of how the Centers for Disease Control classifies patients). KRQE reports that 583 people total have been tested in New Mexico (as of this writing, anyway).

– What's the best thing you can do right now? Stay home and flatten the curve. SFR offers an open letter from state health officials about what it means to do so. It's important that we don't get a ton of people sick at one time because, as New Mexico In Depth's Bryant Furlow reports, most of our ICU beds are already full.

– Since many kids depend on the food served at school, Santa Fe Public Schools will provide free meals to students during the school closure. Any student under 18 is eligible to pick up a meal at any of the locations, even if they don't attend the school. That link up there has a list of locations kids can go to eat.

– Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered most state employees to work from home, and also ordered closed all state museums, historic sites, cultural institutions and state parks. That link, by the way, is from The Santa Fe New Mexican, but we didn't put a little $ sign on it because that newspaper has waived all subscription fees for its website for the time being.

– Yesterday the state's health secretary announced that restaurants and bars must only seat patrons at half capacity and tables must be at least six feet apart to encourage social distancing. For the time being, though, they can remain open. Some restaurants in town are also offering curbside delivery of to-go orders to minimize human contact, so call ahead to your favorite spot.

– SFR's Katherine Lewin visited grocery stores to talk to shoppers. Bare shelves and high competition for staples continue this morning with lots of stores in the city delaying their normal opening time.

– Closures and cancellations are hitting Santa Fe's artist-types hard, as Alex De Vore reports.The state Department of Workforce Solutions has adopted special unemployment contingencies, including waiving the provision that those on unemployment must actively search for work while receiving benefits. However, that only applies to hourly employees and not the self-employed or contract workers—like musicians and artists.

– Broken Trail Distillery in Albuquerque has jumped on a national trend and has started manufacturing its own hand sanitizer. It's free, you just have to ask for it.

Thou shall not hit

Your first non-coronavirus story of the day comes out of Española, where public schools settled for $475,000 in the case of a teacher who hit a student. The family of a boy who was punched by a music teacher at Tony E Quintana "Sombrillo" Elementary School in 2015 was awarded the settlement money after they filed a lawsuit in 2017, two months after former teacher John Andrew Valdez pleaded guilty to three counts of battery against other children.

So much for having fun

At a carnival fundraiser in Southern New Mexico on Saturday night, a ride malfunction injured five children, and cops are now on the case.

A time for literature

Stuck inside for a bit and wondering what to read next? Check out this piece about a complicated man, author Charles Bowden, at High Country News ($) by Laura Paskus. "Those pages reminded me how much words and memories matter, how complicated it is to mourn, and why we need to be honest about our heroes," Paskus writes.

Fresh air is good for you

It is but 33 degrees as the Word writes this before dawn, but today should end up being pretty nice. Hopefully getting outside is part of your social distancing plans, even if it's just to chill in a folding chair on your driveway. We're looking at a sunny day with a high of 61.

Thanks for reading! The Word plans on doing a lot of cross-stitching in the coming days. And maybe she'll also finally write and send her holiday cards.