North Dakota Adopts Ättestupa to Flatten the Curve as COVID Rages Through State

Just got off the phone with Mom who lives in North Dakota. I escaped long ago but still call on Sundays as a good son should. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on back home.

Here’s a shocker: Mom skipped church last week – and she never skips church! Even when we went to the lakes for a week in the summer we still had to go to church on Sunday. Mom skipped Mass last week because of the COVID and because, as she told me, “a lot of families never wear masks at church.”

Mom is medical professional. She was a lab tech at the local clinic for years, then went back to school to get a Master’s in Microbiology after packing four kids off to college. She takes COVID seriously, but she couldn’t skip church this week because she needed to go to the garden store in the afternoon and didn’t want to risk being spotted out and about – masked or not – having been absent from church. Tongues would wag – masked or not.

I couldn’t resist a subtle jab about how North Dakota has been in the headlines a LOT lately. She bristled and pushed back mildly, saying it’s not at bad as all that. (I was being a bit of a stinker as I know it’s a sore spot. A lot of Dakotans have a complex about being ignored, so getting all this attention for bad stuff is a bitter pill.) Mom also said she was disturbed by a letter published recently in the Fargo newspaper, the gist of which was that the pandemic was a fake crises, of course, but in any case the old and the sick should be fine with shuffling off this mortal coil and doing so expeditiously. It’s downright heroic. Move along without a fuss and make room for the rest of us.

Anyone remember “DEATH PANELS”? Time to step up and do your part Grandpa!

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