Pouring coronavirus stimulus funds down a hole. Literally.

Despite people and small businesses struggling to make it day to day amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the North Dakota Emergency Commission is giving the oil industry a $33.1 million gift. That’s OUR money.

Using the money to plug oil wells? Surely not… Right?

A treatment that benefits only one industry in North Dakota is a tough pill to swallow for thousands of the state’s citizens who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, it shouldn’t go down easy for any U.S. taxpayer.

James MacPherson of the Associated Press reported last week that the all-Republican North Dakota Emergency Commission approved $33.1 million of the $1.25 billion the state received in coronavirus stimulus funding from the federal government to plug “orphaned” oil wells.

The funding came to the state as a result of the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, which provided states financial assistance to help them deal with coronavirus pandemic-related expenses such as aid for hospitals and emergency response teams, purchases of medical and protective equipment and payroll support for healthcare providers. It also is intended to help states recover economically.

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Luck is All That’s Left in This “Reopened” Coronavirus World. If You’re Lucky.

Just another immunocompromised guy placing one foot in front of the other, hoping to stay one step ahead.

Walkin’ It Out

Immunocompromised.

I say it only quietly, even in my mind. Coronavirus could hear. It might pick up even the faint whisper. It could come after me, track me down or sic someone on me. And one is all it takes.

One person.

One interaction.

One chance meeting.

One sneeze hanging in the air.

One breath.

One coronavirus infection.

One badass case of COVID-19.

One more potential death.

The “ones” apply not just to the immunocompromised, like me, but to anyone and everyone. My quiet mind keeps coming back to this.

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Spring Coming, Temps Rising… But Coronavirus is Out There

Upper Great Plains: Time to recommit to social distancing.

Dont Do It!

Social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 has been relatively easy so far in North Dakota and Minnesota. March has been the tease it usually is, with above-freezing temps but windchills still down in the single digits or teens.

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Dress Never Worn

Some Things You’ll Just Never Get Back

Our 18-year-old daughter opened our bedroom door late. We’d been sleeping for nearly an hour already. I sat up quickly, saw her silhouette in the light spilling in from the hallway. My wife, an RN at one of the local hospitals, had a 5 a.m. shift the next day; she slept on. My daughter motioned for me to come.

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Coronavirus Pandemic – What Are Our Leaders Waiting For?

Will and Ben knew what they were talking about. Too bad they aren’t talking to government leaders about the coronavirus pandemic.

Government Responses to COVID-19 Spread Defy Logic

* Editors Note, March 16, 2020 – Hours after IV Words published this post on March 15, N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum announced statewide school closures due to coronavirus. By that time, every state around us – Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota – had already announced closings. Fargo Public Schools sent announcements to students and parents shortly thereafter. As of today, about 30 states have shuttered schools for the purposes of social distancing in the hope of at least slowing the spread of the virus.

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Guest Post: Grand Aunt Hilda and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918

The Stofferahn family history is a wake-up call. U.S. leadership needs to act fast to avoid another 1918.

A family’s history points to the danger
of today’s coronavirus pandemic.

by Curt Stofferahn

I’ve been thinking of Grand Aunt Hilda this past week.

Graphic for Guest PostsThe discovery of hot spots of coronavirus (COVID-19); the announcements of meeting, convention and tournament postponements; colleges and universities cancelling face-to-face instruction in favor of online instruction and postponing reconvening until two weeks after the end of spring breaks; and repeated reminders of the Trump administration’s miserable failure in dealing with the outbreak – they all reminded me of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and how my Grand Aunt Hilda was a victim.

Influenza Pandemic of 1918, Iowa & South Dakota

I learned about Grand Aunt Hilda when we were children visiting my grandparents. When we discovered a trunk in the storeroom with portraits of relatives in it, I asked Grandma about one in particular, a charcoal portrait of a lovely young woman who looked vaguely familiar. She went with us to the storeroom to look at the portrait, and with some melancholia said that it was my grandfather’s sister, Hilda, who had died in the pandemic.

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