It's springtime, and love is in the air, but the virus is making things complicated. In episode 65, we explore the changes COVID-19 has wrought for many kinds of love: for family, for friends, for oneself, for longtime spouses, and yes, for lovers. A relationship expert schools us on healthy communication, risk assessment and creative ways to date safely. And New Mexicans, whether they're partnered, dating, or single, share how they're navigating new challenges around connection and intimacy in their stay-at-home lives.
We hear from Albuquerque relationship expert and sex educator Hunter Riley of Self Serve on dating amid the pandemic, how conversations about the risks of STIs and the coronavirus can be similar and different, and how folks can go about getting their relational needs met, safely, in extraordinary circumstances. (Content advisory: this segment acknowledges the existence of sex.)
Our other guests give us a peek into their home lives, sharing about finding new rhythms with loved ones in the shutdown, learning to love friends and alone time in deeper ways, balancing the need for human connection with safety concerns, and growing closer despite the interpersonal, economic and emotional stresses of the pandemic. Many thanks to Alyssa Atias, Maggie Grimason, Rob Nakai, Vanessa Bowen, Erin Saulsbury, Bill Nevens, Quinn Fati, Elisa McGovern, and Katie Farmin.
And, a news update: In the last two weeks, the number of coronavirus cases went up one million globally. Over 5 million people around the world have contracted the illness, according to the New York Times. The number of cases is also growing in the United States, which still has the most infections anywhere on the planet.
The Navajo Nation is reporting 100 new cases, bringing the total there to 4,253. According to KRQE, the government is doing large-scale testing there, and there will be a lockdown again this weekend. The state of emergency declaration and closure of government offices will be in place at least until June 7.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling for a special session to begin on June 18 to patch the roughly $2 billion dollar hole in the state's budget, according to New Mexico In Depth. She said she's hoping public schools won't experience cuts. Sen. John Arthur Smith, one of the primary authors of the state's budget, told the news outlet that savings and federal money should mean schools don't bear the brunt of the burden.
We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today: check out Self Serve for advice and information on sex and sexual health; they also have a sex-positive health care directory; tips on living with a partner for the first time during the shutdown from Heathline; and get advice on long distance relationships from the New York Times: How To Feel Together When You're Apart
How are things going for you? We'd love to hear about it. Share your pandemic stories by calling (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.
Thanks to Vanessa Bowen, Michael Ellis and Lloyd Thrap for the artwork for this episode.