Where I am at.


I got a call yesterday from our township clerk asking if I was still available to be a poll worker in the upcoming April 7 election*. I was hesitant but finally agreed to work. I asked about the disinfectant procedures she plans to have, but I was less than impressed by her answers. Maybe she was feeling pressured to get the polls staffed rather than being nonchalant about spreading the virus; I hope that is the case.

The more I think about it, though, I become less and less confident that it would be okay. There are still no cases of coronavirus in our county nor in the counties to the west and east (advantage of living in a relatively sparse area) and only 4 cases in the county to the south. But it is only a matter of time until Polk County gets infected, or, probably more accurately, cases are diagnosed.

In this morning’s news sweep I read about a man in his 50s whose only underlying condition was high blood pressure. He died from the virus. Smokey and I have multiple underlying medical conditions, he more than I, and why take the chance?

I think I will call her back and quiz her some more.

Edited to add: I just made the call to decline to work. Listening to that inner voice that said it was too dangerous.

Ways to help — an off-the-top of my head list:

  • Donate to your local food shelf.
  • Donate to your local Salvation Army.
  • File your taxes now instead of waiting until July. States will need that April revenue bump to keep doing what they need to do during this crisis, and sales tax receipts are way down.s?
  • Keep checking in with friends, particularly those who may be at higher risk.

Have you seen news coverage about Elmhurst Hospital in Queens? Elder Son did rotations there during medical school. I remember him telling us that the area surrounding the hospital was the ethnically diverse square mile in the US (maybe the world?).

How about a video of some sheep?

Take a roller coaster ride down a Swiss mountain.

Nextdoor, the social network known for sniping neighbors and obsessive concern about package theft, is helping neighbors be neighborly during this pandemic.

Not all the elderly are dying.

“More than half a million people responded to the UK government’s call to become a volunteer for the National Health Service.”

3-D printers to the rescue!

Cautious optimism mixed with dread in Washington state.

Protecting and empowering your family during the crisis.

A St Paul neighborhood exercises together every day.

Let’s end on another high note, ‘kay?


* In Wisconsin the spring election is when we elect people to *non-partisan* offices — state supreme court, county board of supervisors, school boards, city, village, and township offices. While those races may have been non-partisan back in the day, that is no longer the case. Now candidates are fully identified as conservative or liberal, although there is no party designation. Some candidates go so far as to refuse help from political parties, trying to maintain the illusion of non-partisanship. That is not necessarily a good course of action, given 2019’s supreme court race, where the liberal candidate distanced herself from any party beginning with D… and she lost.

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7 Responses to Where I am at.

  1. kayT says:

    Why on earth will there be an in-person election while most of the country is sheltering in place??? They need to cancel it! I really think in many ways we have recently overreacted but having an election in person right now seems lie a terrible underreaction. Don’t Go!

  2. Kathleen Walsh says:

    A 48 year old man in nearby Oshawa, Ontario died from Covid-19. His test diagnosis arrived when he was in ICU and his kidneys had already shut down. He was on no medications before getting to the hospital, and he had no underlying secondary health issue. He also worked at the Loblaws Superstore. He did not have any symptoms until BAM, and then they were serious. We are advised that if we do not feel comfortable, then do not agree to do something if your intuition tells you may be risky. So I would listen to that inner voice. Many do not realize what true sanitizing requires. The sanitizer needs to stay wet on the surface for 20-39 seconds. Are they cleaning doorknobs, light switches, side of the doors where people touch, bathrooms, tables, chairs, pens and spraying all paper with sanitizer, then letting it dry? This includes ballots and ballot boxes. People need to be spaced out 6 feet from one another. Also, those visiting may not know they have to sneeze into their elbows. Then after each person leaves the ballot box, it would need to be re-sanitized. This sounds like a risky place to go to volunteer.

  3. Diane Nelson says:

    So glad you declined. I feel the same way. Not it’s not here YET but there people who pass through here every day using gas pumps, grocery shopping etc. No need to risk it, especially since i already ordered my absentee ballot

  4. gayle says:

    Seems like this election should be postponed! I’m glad you won’t be working it. What are they thinking?

  5. Julie says:

    I’m glad you listened to your inner voice. BTW, there is very likely a case in Turtle Lake/Clear Lake area. A little boy. Hospital told the dad to stay home with him for 7 (!) days and the mom can continue to work. They did not test them. Crazy!

  6. Kat says:

    I applied to vote by mail (and I had said I would work in the election in April – but I think those elections will be delayed. Our state congress is debating it right now.)

  7. readknit says:

    I am glad you listened to your inner voice and declined. I think the election could/should be postponed or changed to a mail-in. My SiL is a family physician in northern PA and she says they don’t have any cases of the virus, but on a related note, they also don’t have any tests. :/

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