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Coronavirus brings pontius pilate anxiety

“This emergency anti-virus meeting of the Homeland Committee will come to order,” announced Chairperson Ork Dorken as he rapped the head table with his genuine Coke bottle.

“Security Officer Garvey Erfald will take the roll.”

Garvey stood up and glanced around the room, counting 11 members all spaced six feet apart.

“Let the record show we’re all here except the immigrant from Montana,” Garvey announced.

Just then, Madeleine Morgan, the immigrant from Montana, came bustling through the door.

“The president is sick,” she announced as she threw her cougar fur coat on a vacant chair.

“What’s he got?” asked Orville Jordan, the retired Soo Line depot agent, as he straightened his cap with the green shade.

“It looks pretty much like Pontius Pilate Anxiety,” she responded. She tucked a few stray hairs under her stocking cap. “At least that’s what his remarkable outstanding vice president announced.”

“I never heard of such a disease,” Josh Dvorchak commented.

“I guess it’s been around for centuries,” Madeleine explained.

“People struck with it can’t accept responsibility and freeze up when something bad happens,” explained Little Jimmy.

“What makes you a clinical psychologist?” Garvey wanted to know.

“My cousin Erk didn’t want to do college by computer so I have been doing his lessons for Psych 102,” Little Jimmy replied. “This is online learning from Harper’s Ferry Institute.”

By this time, Little Jimmy was on his feet in lecture mode.

“If you folks have been paying attention you will see there’s a lot of Pontius Pilate Anxiety in the whole country – caused by the stress of the coronavirus – governors blaming the president, the president blaming the governors, mayors blaming other cities, I mean it’s pretty serious. Everybody is more worried about who’s to blame than solving problems.”

By this time, Ork was pretty steamed.

“We are not here to talk about Pontius Pilate’s problems,” Ork huffed as he rapped his Coke bottle. “We are on our own in this fight against the virus so we need a plan.”

“Remember when the Hawaii war siren went off, warning everybody to take cover because North Korea was attacking. Birdie Erfald fixed up a bomb shelter in the church basement,” Dorsey reviewed town history for the committee.

“Of course,” he continued, “It would be nice if the church was still there but we could still make it into a pretty good underground emergency place for our medical stuff to save lives.”

“What medical staff are you talking about?” sneered Holger Danske.

“We just have to recruit volunteers to take Red Cross training and serve their country right here in the church basement,” replied Dorsey.

“Where will we get medical supplies?” asked Einar Torvald. “Have you seen on TV where nobody knows where everything is and everybody needs more if they find any? And if we aggravate the president we won’t get anything.”

“As our security officer, Garvey should take the lead in getting equipment, especially those ventilators that are in short supply,” proposed Ork.

“I don’t even know where to look for ventilators,” Garvey admitted. “Where is this federal stockpile everybody on TV is talking about?”

“Oh! That has been given away three times already,” Josh ventured. “New York got it twice.”

Old Sievert spit a batch of snooze toward an old coffee can from his stuffed chair in the corner. He missed.

“It looks to me like we best each take our two million square feet of North Dakota and park in the middle until it blows over.”

He rose to his feet and started putting on his coat, which was the same as a motion to adjourn. Everybody headed out, hoping to live for a good carrot crop in 2020.

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

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