Although much of Corrales appears shuttered, businesses are responding to customers and clients by phone and on line, essential municipal services are continuing and, generally, community spirit remain high.
Tanya Lattin, commander at the Corrales Fire Department, said April 7 that she was not aware of any Corrales resident who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, now sweeping the globe.
At least 1,000 people in the United States died of the illness on a single day, April 3, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nationwide, more than a quarter-million people are confirmed to have the virus, which apparently began coursing thorough humans in an inland Chinese city late last year.
A statistical projection made in early April indicated more than 2,100 New Mexicans may die of COVID-19 over the next 12 months. The state’s death toll stood at 13 as of April 7, although New Mexico had 794 confirmed cases at that time.
Sandoval County had the second highest number of people testing positive for the virus, 128, while Bernalillo County had 307 as of April 7.
“Together we must reduce the rate of spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Jo Anne Roake urged. “Our state has a ‘C’ grade for social distancing, but Sandoval County has a strong ‘B’ because we have reduced our interactions by 37 percent.
“C’mon, if we get over 40 percent, we’ll not only get an ‘A’ but we’ll literally save lives. Let’s step up our game and then stay the course. Corrales is a special place. So many are doing things to help each other, like food donations, phone visits, ‘rainbow tours’ and a boy named Braeden doing back-flips for his neighbors, to name just a few,” the mayor added.
“We’ll get through this. Stay strong and stay safe, Corrales style.”
The Rainbow Trail project is a global movement primarily for kids to paint a rainbow for display in a home’s window to cheer passersby. Photos are taken of the bright artwork which is posted on social media to be viewed worldwide.
Elsewhere, New Mexico maintained its quirky status when Albuquerque Tea Party President Leland Taylor filed a lawsuit in federal court against Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for violating his right of freedom of assembly and freedom to worship when she issued emergency orders for closures to halt the spread of COVID-19 last month.
From a different perspective, Albuquerque folk music authority Dave Dunaway, a University of New Mexico professor, penned an opinion published in the April 3 Albuquerque Journal which concluded, “The virus that condemns and sickens many of the world’s inhabitants has slowed climate change to give us time for the major transformation to green transportation and industry, and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
“COVID-19 could teach us to hoard or to share; to shun or to find new ways of connecting. It could turn us suspicious or hostile; or finally compassionate. It is almost as if the virus was sent from above to allow us to become the more humane society we could be.”
Corrales businesses are expected to move quickly to seek loans or grants through the federal small business program to stay afloat during the current enormous economic recession. Local bank branches are accepting applications to the Paycheck Protection Program funded by Congress’ $2 trillion appropriation to re-start the economy.
But while some Corrales businesses are hit hard by the mandatory shut-down, others are experiencing a boom.
Founded less than a year ago, Candlestick Coffee’s Zack Smith said his business is doing well from on-line orders. A customer reflected, “I guess New Mexicans can’t get by without chile, coffee and toilet paper.”