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Continuing to recover from COVID-19

Arvina Martin joins us to talk about her novel coronavirus diagnosis and recovery. Deputy managing editor Jourdan Bennett-Begaye has more on Biden's transition back into the White House.

As the country goes through this surge of COVID-19 cases, many in Indian Country are sharing their stories on social media like Arvina Martin who joins the show today.

Plus Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, our deputy managing editor, joins the newscast. She's overseeing our coverage of the Biden-Harris team as they officially transition into the White House. 

Some quotes from today's show

Arvina Martin:

"I actually had just started having some minor cold symptoms. Like my throat was a little raw and kind of scratchy. And I had a bit of a runny nose and I honestly would not have gotten tested at that point, if not for the fact that I was working as the Native outreach director or the Biden campaign in Wisconsin. Election day was coming, I was supposed to be out at various polls polling places and again, honestly, that's the only reason why I got tested that day, because I was supposed to be out with people on election day and it's when it started. It was so mild, it just came on like that slow growth."

"I stayed home quite a bit with my job I was able to work remotely. But when I did go out, it was for things like groceries or going to get prescriptions or something like that. But I always wore a mask when I left the house, wash our hands all the time. I thought we were being pretty careful, but community spread is real. I don't know who infected or how I got infected or where it happened. So I mean, even when you're taking care, you can still get it."

"Luckily our cases were relatively mild. I did have to go to the emergency room twice. One was a crazy headache that came out of nowhere and was really, really painful. And they were worried about blood clots because that is apparently another symptom. So I had to go in and get a CAT scan to make sure that I didn't have any blood clots or aneurysms in my brain. And then I also had to go at one point when I was coughing so bad I couldn't breathe. So I did spend time in the emergency room, but was never admitted. My mom did have to go to the emergency room once. And because of chest pains from all the coughing but my daughter seems to be asymptomatic. She hadn't shown any symptoms. I'm so glad that if she had it, it wasn't the same kind of reaction to the virus that my mom and I had because we were just in bed for a solid week. You couldn't do anything."

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye:

"And so particularly right now, I mean, just yesterday, GSA did finally say that Joe Biden is the apparent winner. So now the transition process begins. And just yesterday actually the Biden team also announced six of his cabinet picks or nominees. And we were really looking at those and now we're still looking at the following cabinet picks. And I think the one that we're really particularly interested in is the Interior position. Right now of course there's a lot of support for Deb Haaland, who is the congressional representative for New Mexico and she's Laguna Pueblo."

"But a lot of I guess advocacy organizations, a lot of Native people, a lot of tribal leaders are really supporting her right now. And actually the Navajo nation president Jonathan Nez just wrote an op-ed for us saying that this would really be a historic move for the country and for Native people and just sort of Indian Country overall. Just because the Interior does have a few of the bureaus that Indian Country works with, like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau Indian Education and the National Park Service and just a plethora of other bureaus. So everybody's just really excited and really wants to get behind her for this position right now."

"We haven't heard anything but I know we're definitely keeping an eye on it and it may be really exciting to do it or to see it come about. Cause I know just being there in DC and on the Hill. There's always a lot of tribal leaders and community members flying in and out of DC. And so there was never a dull moment or a dull month where there is nothing going on, but this pandemic has definitely made it a little bit more difficult and challenging."

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is the deputy managing editor for Indian Country Today based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @jourdanbb or email her at jbennett-begaye@indiancountrytoday.com. Bennett-Begaye’s Grey’s Anatomy obsession started while attending the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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