Today as we reflect on this one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case discovered in our state, I want to say thank you to all New Mexicans for the enormous personal sacrifices they have made. After more than 3,800 deaths and nearly 200,000 infections of this dangerous virus, the way we live in New Mexico today has changed dramatically. As more vaccines now are being made available and more of our residents become vaccinated, I am genuinely optimistic that we will restart jobs and economic activity, and return to relatively normal life.
I am extremely grateful to New Mexicans for their patience and hard work to protect and help one another through this long year to hold infections, hospitalizations and deaths as low as possible. The extraordinary collaboration on a daily basis of so many of our communities, health care workers, first responders, front line workers, educators, parents, children and neighbors inspires me. Our efforts have been met with a large measure of success, but we recognize that the pandemic is not quite over yet. That is why I urge all of us to continue to protect each other by wearing masks, avoiding gatherings with people from outside our households, maintaining safe distance, washing our hands frequently, and staying home while sick.