Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

As words fly, The Great Invader presses on September 30, 2021

COVID-19 virus. Photo source CDC/Alissa Edkert, MSMI; Dan Higgins MAMS, 2020

ONCE UPON A TIME in The Land of Plenty, the villagers determined they’d had enough of the restrictions, recommendations and mandates imposed during a far-reaching health emergency. The Great Invader be damned, they would live life like it was 2018, pre-intrusion into their quiet village lives.

And so they did. They gathered in the arenas. They gathered in the squares. They gathered in the taverns and around the hearth. They packed the marketplace. They crammed into wagons and traveled hither-and-yon without worry. They cared only about their own happiness. No one, not even the Ministry of Health or the rulers of the kingdom, would tell them what they could and could not do.

DENIAL

Despite their best efforts, there was no denying The Great Invader’s presence in the land, even in the smallest of villages. But the villagers would never publicly acknowledge that. Such validation would only undermine their integrity and cast them as supporters of the kingdom leadership. They would not defect or risk becoming outcasts among their own. So, if worry or doubt entered their minds, they dared not share their concerns.

Even in that state of outcry or denial, depending on perspective, the Ministry of Health continued to post documents from the Office of Truthfulness in the village square. Oftentimes The Village Know-It-All would rip down the official scrolls, especially those listing deaths caused by The Great Invader. He didn’t need The Counters in the village adding numbers and circulating the results.

FACT & FICTION

Stopping the flow of information from respected wordsmiths, though, proved much more difficult. The writers were relentless in penning pieces about The Great Invader and his effect upon the people of the kingdom. To counter their efforts, The Village Know-It-All began posting his own carefully crafted stories for all to see. He was especially skilled in the art of manipulation. Whatever he wrote would be quickly repeated as the truth. He held that type of power.

OPPORTUNITY GALORE

The Great Invader, who could be everywhere and anywhere simultaneously, recognized opportunity when he saw it. He would up his efforts to invade the villages, to sicken the villagers, to cause pain and suffering. And even death. His job would be so much easier among those who refused to believe the Office of Truthfulness, who spread false information and who refused to take a life-saving potion available throughout the kingdom. He felt giddy with anticipation as he continued his invasion. This was proving much easier than he ever hoped, ever dreamed, ever thought possible in The Land of Plenty.

Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo.

AS COVID-19 CASES continue to surge, here are some recent headlines from Minnesota media sources, plus one from Minnesota-North Dakota. Please, if you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated. Please wear a mask in public or in close proximity indoors to those outside your immediate circle, regardless of vaccination status. Be safe. Be well. Care about others. We need to stop The Great Invader/COVID-19.

Local hospitals see record patient volume in emergency departments—Faribault Daily News

The number of schools in Minnesota with confirmed COVID-19 cases has tripled twice in the last two weeks. What’s going on?—MinnPost

“How will we keep going like this?” School nurses, staff worry about burnout—Minnesota Public Radio

Hundreds of U of M faculty want stronger vaccine policies—Minnesota Public Radio

Protestors Demonstrate Against Vaccination Mandates Thursday in Redwood Falls—KLGR radio

Carris Health—Redwood Hospital and Clinic Reinstates COVID Visitor Restrictions—KLGR radio (posted on the same date as the protest story)

Avera Marshall reopens drive-up COVID testing as need grows—The Marshall Independent

Latest surge wears on Carris Health—Rice Memorial Hospital staff 18 months into the pandemic—West Central Tribune (Willmar)

Trending rise of COVID-19 continues in Morrison County—Morrison County Record

As hospitals struggle amid delta surge, North Dakota puts extra ambulances on stand-by—The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

North Dakota baby’s nearly fatal fight with COVID-19 signals new risk to children—The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

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Click here to read my previous posts in this series about The Great Invader. Note that I moderate all comments on this, my personal blog.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

4 Responses to “As words fly, The Great Invader presses on”

  1. It’s hard to see the end of the tunnel, isn’t it?

  2. Ann Vohs Says:

    Audrey
    Thank you for your posts on the Great Invader. When I read them I am reminded that there are people in my neighborhood who take this seriously.
    The messages at this time are so confusing. The variant is much more transmissible, yet most people I encounter are not masked. Activities are still going on. Football games, weddings, funerals, concerts, plays, etc are back as if everything is “normal”.
    Karl and I attended the Wacipi at Mendota on 9/11. It was outdoors.
    On 9/15 Karl woke up with head cold like symptoms. At a Dr visit the next day he had a Covid test and it was positive.
    We were shocked and confused. We think he may have contacted it while he stood in line at a food truck at the Wacipi.
    He didn’t have serious symptoms fortunately because he had been vaccinated. I had to quarantine outside the house as a precaution. (We only have 1 bathroom). I did take him to River Falls,
    Wisconsin for an antibody infusion as per his Allina doctor on 9/22. He is feeling better now, just a bit fatigued.
    We are both shaken by the experience, yet grateful to be vaccinated and that he wasn’t seriously ill.

    • Ann, thank you for sharing your story. It’s important for people to read about your and Karl’s experience, which underscores just how contagious this delta variant is. I know you’ve been very careful during the pandemic.

      I am thankful Karl’s vaccine kept him from getting seriously ill. And I am thankful you did not contract the virus from him.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to detail your experience. I hope it makes a difference.


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