Before I was given a chance to be part of the CDC Foundation (CDCF), I ask myself, when will I have the opportunity to make a difference? Then came a few recruiting calls from CDCF. In the middle of several interviews with COVID-19 epidemiology positions, I turned on the television, saw the REVERB show, a new documentary series from CBSN Originals, and did a story on the Navajo Nation. Watching the story made me realized what my struggles in life that I thought are so miserable is nothing close to the daily challenges the Navajo Nation faces every given day. During this Holiday Season, my second month with CDCF and the Navajo Nation Public Health and Epidemiology organizational structure. I was given a chance to be part of several working groups and co-lead two teams, the “Unified Command Testing Coordination Team (UCTCT) with a colleague at John Hopkins University, and the “Testing Data and Analytics.” I get to meet many great people virtually, like Dr. Jill Jim, one of the many great women leaders in the Navajo Nation.
“Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” I believe this Christmas quote goes along well with CDCF’s “Together Our Impact Is Greater.” NavajoEpi posted a picture on Instagram, and I realized being in a collage of photos wearing a mask, all I could see is our eyes, and I realized these are all my brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters, tackling the day-to-day challenges of the Navajo Nation. If Santa puts something in my Christmas stocking, all I could ask will be the gift that will help my friends in the Navajo Nation and the Tribal Nation as a whole. That will be the help of my Navajo Team on staffing issues. While the vaccine roll-out is in play, testing will still have a vital role until everyone who wants to be vaccinated gets vaccinated. Enhanced testing needs to continue, given that SARS-CoV-2 yet has much space to infect people and create clusters in the Navajo territory.
I choose to affect the world on every given day, not to be affected by its challenges, but to find the strength to narrow the gap between those who have everything and the many that got nothing but hope. “Every dream comes from a speck of hope. It is through hope where we gain our strength to make a change.”