Five Diné Women Physicians Fight the Covid-19 Pandemic


Photographs featured in the article by Eric Retterbush.


An article in the March 2021 Smithsonian Review written by Jade Begay, describes how five distaff physicians are working in the large Navajo territory to help their patients combining modern science with traditional Diné practices. The five women are photographed twice, once in customary Navajo dress, much of it handed down from family members, and again in their work clothes, sometimes with native touches, such as a beaded stethoscope to help make patients more comfortable. These good doctors and their hospitals and clinics offer spaces to encourage patients to pray and use traditional medicines and have hired traditional healing practitioners to support patients. They have also worked to employ personal phone calls and Zoom meetings, not rushed, to help patients and their families feel supported by a caring community. In November of last year the Covid-19 positivity rate reached a disturbing 37.8%, but, they report, since then, with a push to reach the underserved Diné community, vaccines have started to turn the tide. The community is anxious to resume normal life, which includes large communal ceremonies and celebrations.


Here is the link for the Smithsonian article:

How Navajo Physicians Are Battling the Covid-19 Pandemic | Science | Smithsonian Magazine