In January, when news that a novel virus was raging in China and taking lives at alarming rate, I had an uneasy feeling in my gut. I immediately started spraying things around me with rubbing alcohol. I’m sure my colleagues thought I was crazy. My gut told me that it would soon make its way into the United States and reach South Dakota. My gut was right.
But I also trusted that the United States government as well as state and local governments would do everything in their power to stop the spread of this novel virus called Covid-19 in an effort to protect the lives of the vulnerable and keep its citizens safe.
Each day as I saw the numbers of Covid-19 cases rise across the U.S. and the world, my trust in governments begin to wane.
Now, that the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States has reached 1,367,638 with more than 80,787 deaths and 4,235,237 Covid-19 cases worldwide with more than 285,946 deaths, I have come to appreciate a harsh reality.
I no longer feel safe and can no longer trust governments especially here in South Dakota where our Governor Kristi Noem not only refused to issue a stay-at-home order but never shut down businesses nor restricted travel.
I have to give Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender much credit for shuttering businesses and thereby slowing the spread. We also shut down Native Sun News Today briefly.
Now I see Kristi Noem on T.V. bragging about how “We” flattened the curve. Kristi Noem cannot take credit for flattening the curve.
It was the people who made personal decisions to shelter in place in spite of Governor Noem’s refusal to issue a state order. Many people took personal responsibility like myself and stayed home, wore a mask and gloves when out for groceries even though at the time the CDC had advised against it.
The people flattened the curve “in spite of” Governor Kristi Noem and her genocidal public Covid-19 policy which is currently infecting people of color in South Dakota at a disproportionate rate.
Now she is trying to close down the check points, set up at the borders of the Cheyenne River Reservation and the Oglala Lakota Nation, designed to protect tribal members and in reality everyone who resides within the boundaries.
But now this virus has hit closer to home than I ever imagined, two of my daughters just tested positive for Covid-19. Not shuttering the doors of businesses, especially child care centers and health care centers and other places where the virus can spread and infect many people, lands squarely on Kristi Noem’s shoulders.