During 2020, while COVID-19 was raging across the nation, my tribe, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, N.C., took intense measures early on, shutting down the Qualla Boundary (our tribal lands), implementing mass testing, contract tracing and case isolation. Tribal leaders and elders feel a sense of urgency about preserving the culture and language, as was demonstrated during the worst of the pandemic when Native language speakers were prioritized to receive the vaccine by some tribes.
In the end the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians handled the pandemic more effectively than many other areas in North Carolina, ensuring elders’ legacies.... Read More
Immunization against childhood diseases is regarded as one of the greatest public health achievements in the United States and worldwide. The benefit of vaccinations has been particularly notable for American Indian and Alaska Native people, who have suffered disproportionately from infectious diseases compared with the general U.S. population. Vaccination coverage among American Indian children is higher than national coverage levels for most vaccines. This finding contrasts with overall coverage estimates among all American Indians, which usually are slightly below national coverage levels.
As the leading national Native aging organization for elders, we strive to provide information that will assist tribes and their communities. The information we gather will help us better understand how tribes have been affected by COVID-19 and the mental, physical and social impact it has had on their health. It will also serve to illustrate what Indian Country looks like to those who do not know, and help us focus our efforts most effectively.
Once the information is collected and.... Read More
It’s the Season for Getting (or Keeping) Health Coverage
With the number of COVID-19 cases reaching record highs in the U.S., healthcare access and coverage remains top of mind. November and December are the months to reassess and adjust your healthcare coverage, if you enroll through the Affordable Care Act or Medicare.
Here are some important dates to remember, depending on how you get your healthcare coverage:
If you get private insurance through the Affordable Care Act, use the Federal or a state Marketplace to shop for a plan that works for you. Marketplace Open Enrollment is open now through Dec. 15, for coverage that starts on January 1st, 2021. Now through Dec. 7, those eligible can enroll in Medicare.... Read More
The Ways the Pandemic Has Influenced Our Eating Habits
Last week, my husband and I decided since outdoor dining resumed in our state, we would go out to dinner. For the first time in several months, I decided to get dressed up. I noticed that all my “real” pants felt snug at the waist.
The pandemic and staying at home had changed my eating habits immensely. Over the past few months, dinner had become the focal point of our family’s day. I was cooking more elaborate meals. Indulging in.... Read More