Looks like it’s our turn now…


The Dakotas report single-day records for new virus cases on Saturday: more than 370 in North Dakota and more than 420 in South Dakota.

Of course, that’s still tiny compared to what people in New York or California or Arizona or Florida have suffered. But, when one’s entire town is smaller than my entire high school…. even a handful of cases has potential for wide-spread catastrophe among families of several generations living crammed into often sub-standard housing. 

Our local hospital doesn’t have an ICU or a respirator. In fact, they generally triage COVID cases right in the ER garage and transfer them directly into an ambulance (or call the helicopter) and get them to hospitals in Fargo, Watertown or Sioux Falls, 60 or 100 miles away. The hospital’s lack of a decent ventilating system means that aerosols would be spread throughout the building (clinics, physical and occupational therapy, and dentist clinic). So, the garage serves as a buffer zone- and it can be left open at both ends so the ever-present winds of the prairie can flow through. 

COVID testing in the parking lot of the
Indian Health Service building

Our school has already delayed opening until Sept. 14. Who knows, we may have to open virtually… or delay opening again. We’ve already had two COVID exposures- one in the high school wing, and one in the elementary wing- resulting in all of us being tested (I was negative) last Wednesday and working from home all of last week. (Above is a picture of part of the line of nearly 150 cars/ trucks… competing for 100 test kits. )

It’s sure going to be interesting to see how this school year unfolds. I hope it’s an opportunity for new/better models of teaching and learning… that would sure be a “silver lining” in these pandemic clouds!