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That our nation will lose more than 100,000 to COVID-19 is a human disaster. It already has killed more people in a few months than die annually from the flu. The problem with COVID-19 is it is so contagious. Though Kossuth County, as of Tuesday, had just seven confirmed cases, we would be foolish to think there are not more – many more.

Here’s What I learned...

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified many problems in our country. One of the most glaring is the disappearance of local journalism. While people are increasingly turning to local journalists for information on how the pandemic is impacting their communities, advertisers are cutting their budgets to account for an economy in rapid decline. This means newspapers that were struggling to get by now face the prospect of being shuttered entirely.

‘The Purple Door District’ is a gripping urban fantasy

Anytime a person reads a novel steeped in magic realism, a suspension of disbelief is required. When a magic realism novel is an urban fantasy filled with werebirds, werewolves and vampires, it requires a very open mind.

The 1918 flu epidemic slowly ends

I finished last week’s column by stating that the 1918 flu pandemic had reached Kossuth County around the first of October and that the illnesses and deaths had begun to mount.

If we are to re-open

Rural Iowans have done a tremendous job of social distancing and reacting to the requests of the state and federal governments when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus – or we’ve just been lucky.

The 1918 influenza pandemic begins

When I was growing up on my great-grandfather’s farm east of Lone Rock, numerous times during my youth my great-grandparents, Karl and Olga Ewoldt, talked about surviving the flu pandemic of 1918. At one point during that period, both of them, plus their daughters, Elva, my great-aunt; and Ella, my grandmother, all contracted the flu at the same time.

Running out of scissors, apologizing to St. Francis

 I had a wrestling match last week with something called Flextape. I lost. Furthermore, I also lost three pairs of scissors and my temper.
Flextape is the devil’s invention.
It all started with a leaky birdbath. Last year, I managed to repair the leaks with some kind of caulking. It held all summer, but alas, this year the birdbath leaked like the proverbial sieve.
Read the rest of Molly's Ink Spots in the May 21 Advance.

Remember those who gave all there was to give

Every crisis has new heroes. During the 9/11 attacks, they were the first responders running into burning and crumbling buildings as others ran out.  Now, during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the most visible heroes are the health care professionals, who are saving others and risking their own lives while doing so.

Kossuth County takes 10 percent population dip

150 Years Ago: Wisconsin House, On North side of the Public Square, has just been refitted and put in order for the accommodation of the traveling public. My motto is “live and let live,” and when travelers call at the Wisconsin House they can get good warm meals at any hour of the day. Plenty of barn room and good stabling for teams. J.W. Mayo.

You decide how to vote, we'll make it safe

Our national dialogue is consumed with discussion about health, safety, freedoms and liberties. There is no doubt Iowans are concerned about these important matters. It is vital to find a balancing act between protecting the public health and ensuring the continuation of civil society.

It’s a rainy day

Major League Baseball players wonder whether they have a beef with their pay.
A report last week showed the average annual salary for a big leaguer was about $4.4 million, and the increase in pay has averaged about 0.25 percent per year for the last four. That’s when the owners put a luxury tax in place to penalize higher-spending owners who were soaking up the talent. The tax is rolled back into other Major League Baseball team owners’ pockets.

Back in Belgium

After a fun day and a half in Marengo visiting with our friends and looking over that area, we loaded into our friends’ car, and we headed out on the four-hour drive to Chicago O’hare International Airport.
We unloaded our luggage in the pouring rain and bid our goodbyes. Inside, as we stood in line to check our luggage and get boarding passes, a lady behind us with one piece said, “It looks like you are moving to Europe.” Yes, we had a lot of luggage.

What to do when you find nature's babies

I love babies. Ducklings, goslings, bunnies and fawns are all cute as can be. But working at a nature center during nesting season can sometimes be hard. We get so many calls about folks finding baby animals “abandoned” by their mothers. While on occasion a mother may die, it’s much more likely she is out feeding or sleeping nearby and has hidden her babies as to not draw attention to them. Inevitably, a person will happen across them in this very circumstance.

The costs

The coming weeks, months and years will reveal the realities of the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on people’s health and wealth.
Decisions by our leaders to shut down all but the basics of our commercial enterprises has led to unthinkable unemployment and immeasurable dependence upon government assistance.

Bail out the Postal Service before cruise lines

It's quiz time.
What arm of the federal government has the most contact with ordinary Americans, people like you and me?
Is it the Internal Revenue Service? Social Security Administration? The Food and Drug Administration? Or the Department of Agriculture?
Nope. Not that one. Not that one either. None of those.
Read the complete column in the May 7 Kossuth County Advance.

Of homeschooling nightmares and such

I have nightmares of having to home-school our five children during this pandemic. In those dreams, they are, of course, considerably younger than they are now. And considerably wilder. And I am considerably crazier.
Of our five offspring, daughter number four, Amy, is the only one with little ones needing to be homeschooled while she and her husband, Dave, work at their full-time jobs from home.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the May 7 Kossuth County Advance.

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