Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer issued the following statement for the one-year mark of COVID-19 in New Mexico:
"Over the past year, New Mexico's hospitality and tourism industry has made incredible sacrifices throughout this pandemic in order to protect fellow New Mexicans. Hotels opened their doors to fellow New Mexicans when hospitals needed help. Restaurants provided meals to frontline responders working to save New Mexicans. Businesses put plans on hold.
“And because of those sacrifices, New Mexico can look forward to the prospects of a reopened tourism economy. Over the past year, the New Mexico Tourism Department connected hospitality businesses with the information, resources and counseling that business owners needed to help weather the storm. The Tourism Department also repositioned its efforts on preparedness so that when we can promote leisure travel again, communities and tourism destinations are well-positioned to capitalize on the demand as we enter a new era for tourism.
“While we are optimistic for the future, we still have work to do. Prioritizing investment in tourism at the state and local level will help reignite commerce and bring New Mexicans back to work. When we can begin to regenerate the demand for travel, we will be able to forge a path for economic recovery for all of New Mexico.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday also marked the one-year milestone of the first COVID-19 cases in New Mexico with the following statement:
“Reflecting on the past year, thinking back to where we were last March and all that has happened since, more than anything else I am genuinely and incredibly proud of New Mexicans. As I said in my State of the State address, we are processing the strains of grief, challenged by anxiety about the future, exhausted after months of uncertainty and upheaval. But we have – all of us, in our own individual way – fought for one another, stepped up to protect one another, made sacrifices for people we may never meet but whose health and safety we can take comfort in knowing we helped preserve. We should all make the time to reflect on this. The manifest strength of New Mexicans – the health care heroes, the front-line workers, the first responders, the parents and educators and so many more – is a powerful source of optimism, especially as the end of the pandemic begins to take shape ahead of us. Having weathered the storm, we will take stock of our surroundings, understand we are stronger for having been through it and begin again in earnest the focused work of transforming our state for the benefit of all families and workers.
“As Abraham Lincoln wrote in the middle of the Civil War, the ‘occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.’ Amid unprecedented challenges, he wrote, ‘we must think anew, and act anew,’ taking up with our whole hearts the opportunity to be ambitious and remake ourselves afforded us by the circumstances. New Mexico has risen to one occasion – squaring up a global pandemic, protecting and preserving our own to the very best of our ability – and will rise to the next. I am humbled and more honored than ever to lead our state.”
Lt. Gov. Howie Morales issued the following statement:
“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.”