Commentary

Thu
19
Mar
Edgar's picture

Containing Covid-19

With the coronavirus causing school to be cancelled, my son brought his school work home. He shared with us a Greek mythology worksheet about Pandora’s Box. If you aren’t familiar, the Greek god Zeus gave a wedding present to beautiful Pandora but instructed her not to open it. Like many of us, impatience and curiosity got the best of her and she opened it anyway, which caused a lot of new problems.

Similarly, with Covid-19, this new virus, is already out of the box. This is a global pandemic and we are being asked to be patient and conform to social distancing to help slow down the spread. This is our current challenge. Every day we hear about sporting events, concerts, schools, and travel plans being cancelled. This is the best-known method to slow the spread of Covid-19. The less we are mixing and mingling, the less the virus is spreading.

 

 

 

Thu
12
Mar
Edgar's picture

Prairie Doc Save a life by listening

Our nation has a large and growing public health problem called suicide. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and it is preventable. The Centers for Disease Control indicates suicide was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes and it affects all ages. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years of age, the fourth leading cause among people 35 to 54 years of age, and the eighth leading cause among people 55 to 64 years of age.

While the causes of suicide vary, depression is often an underlying factor. Most of us periodically have what is called “situational depression,” such as the understandable sadness that follows severe loss or death, but what is more typical of harmful depression is when there is no particular situation, no identifiable “reason” for it.

 

 

Thu
12
Mar
Edgar's picture

Governor’s column: Broadband and progress

A programmer can’t do her job without a computer. A farmer can’t do his job without a combine. A photographer can’t get the job done without a camera.

This year, you’ve heard me say that South Dakota is open for business. It’s true. But if we’re going to create jobs that keep our kids here at home, we have to equip South Dakota with the tools that businesses need to thrive. We have to pave the way for economic growth.

Throughout this legislative session, you’ve heard me set a renewed focus on cleaning up areas of government that hold back economic progress. I’ve signed bills into law that reduce regulations and make it easier for people to get to work. I testified on a bill that creates a fair, consistent county zoning process for the businesses wanting to create careers in our communities. These are tools that set us up for economic progress and will help us welcome new industries into our state.

 

Thu
05
Mar
Edgar's picture

It’s not the mask, it’s who you ask

I have been amused since the birth of COVID-19, how many people have become armchair quarterbacks in the war against viruses. Most people know virtually nothing about viruses…

most believe viruses are alive and can be killed…  they buy into Hollywood virus outbreak stories and exotic tales of where viruses come from. My advice is this… don’t ask your plumber about pharmaceutical engineering, or your accountant about new treatment options for cancer. Get medical information from currently practicing and informed medical professionals, and not and informed medical professionals, and not from your Internet-surfing uncle, your well-meaning, but ignorant co-workers, your teacher with no experience in health care, or from your scientifically illiterate friend.

 

 

 

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Thu
05
Mar
Edgar's picture

Choose smoke-free autos

Make the choice to keep your vehicles smoke-free for your health and your family’s health. A smokefree vehicle ensures that you and those who ride with you have better lung health, are sick less often and protected from dangerous secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is the mixture of tobacco smoke, breathed out by the person smoking, and the smoke that comes off of the burning end of the cigarette. Secondhand smoke is listed as a carcinogen along with arsenic and asbestos. Secondhand smoke is dangerous because it contains over 7,000 chemicals, of which 250 are known to be poisonous and more than 69 are known to cause cancer.

Thu
05
Mar
Edgar's picture

Providing for a comfortable death

He was my neighbor, a guy my age, a man of many talents and interests, and a dear friend. He was one of those fellows who would give the shirt off his back to help you, if needed. When he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas spread to liver, he, his daughters, and his friends knew how this was likely going to go. But we didn’t realize how graciously he would handle his dying process until it happened.

He was treated and truly helped by chemotherapy for a while, but gradually the tumor cells developed resistance to the drugs and the oncologist suggested no more chemo. He was ready to have only pain meds and hospice. In the end, per his direction, with the help of hospice and the caring people at the small town nursing home, he shuffled off this mortal coil comfortably, surrounded by his family and friends.

Thu
27
Feb
admin's picture

When two cultures collide

As I was researching the history of Native American health care, I took note of the various terms used early on by indigenous people to describe European immigrants. Initially, the references had to do with skin color. Several tribes labeled Europeans as “white skinned,” or “yellow-hided.” Some tribes still use the term “umsewah,” meaning “bleached wood.”

Other tribes described Europeans as “hairy mouthed,” “hair faces” and “dog faces,” referencing facial hair on European men. Ears were also important in naming. One tribe characterized the immigrants as “ears sticking out” because they did not have long hair covering their ears as did Native Americans. Some say that the ear label referred to that tribe’s word-meaning for donkey or mule.

Thu
27
Feb
admin's picture

Looking back 40 years: Part 2

I’ve been reminiscing a bit more about 1980 when Jim and I came to Timber Lake to buy the Topic from Jim and Mary Byington.

I remember that we thought maybe we wouldn’t be busy enough, or able to eke out a living with just the newspaper, so we decided to renew our teaching certificates and sign up for substitute teaching. We never did actually do that but it was a fall back position.

Coincidentally, last week when I was writing on this subject I came across an envelope marked in Jim’s handwriting: SAVE— Letters May, 1980. Not being able to afford long distance calls, we exchanged letters a couple times a week, Jim here and me at Wall. A first class letter was 15 cents to mail and apparently arrived in one day.

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Thu
20
Feb
Edgar's picture

I first saw Timber Lake 40 years ago

I first saw Timber Lake 40 years ago

Jim and Mary Byington

I first saw Timber Lake 40 years ago

Jim and Kathy Nelson

COLUMN

It was 40 years ago this month that I first saw Timber Lake. My late husband Jim and I had had several phone conversations with Mary Byington and drove to Timber Lake one Saturday to check out the opportunity to buy the Topic.

We had been at Wall about four years, where I was teaching English half-time and working at the Pennington County Courant half-time (There really is no such thing as half time at either) and Jim was working with Estes Bros. Construction.

We knew next to nothing about Timber Lake.

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Thu
20
Feb
Edgar's picture

Stress, anxiety affect us all

Prairie Doc

Standing in front of a group of De Smet Parent Teacher Association® members, I was to play a trumpet solo. My teacher thought I was prepared, but unfortunately, I was not. My fears brought my heart up into my throat, I became short of breath, my heart pounded and, indeed, I stumbled and had to start over again. Although my failings were likely amusing to some in the audience, they were certainly not indicating any musical skills. It was a devastating experience for me.

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