By Gary Dickson, P & W Health Editor
PIERRE, SD – Governor Krispie Gnome announced today from her office that she has begun dedicating the “full resources of the state” to preventing the outbreak of the Coronavirus within borders of the Land of Infinite Variety, known as South Dakota.
“I have become very concerned about the spread of this contagion from China,” the governor said. “The federal government has brought back United States citizens and quarantined a bunch of them down in Omaha, which isn’t too far from Dakota Dunes, you know.”
But Gnome appeared to be looking at a different avenue of the disease getting loose among South Dakotans.
“I’ve been binge watching Jesse Ventura’s show on TRU – especially the episode about Plum Island,” she said. “You all know, don’t you, that Plum Island is where the U.S. Government had their Animal Disease Center? It’s off the coast of Long Island. It’s really where the government researched bioweapons! Well, now they’ve moved it to Kansas where they can release Lyme Disease and, I’ve heard, the Coronavirus on us here in the Heartland. And what really has my pretty Snow Queen noggin worried is that the Deep State, in cahoots with Red China, is now releasing disease spores that can be passed along through telecommunications networks, the Internet, broadcast and shortwave signals, and other high-tech avenues of electronic communication! Both Governor Ventura and Alex Jones have the research to back this up.
“Well, I’m here to tell you, that the buck stops in Kansas, not in South Dakota! So yesterday, or maybe it was the day before . . . anyway, recently I informed my Secretary of Health, Kim Balsam – Rotisserie that we needed to alert all the local health offices about watching for people who’ve contracted the disease through their computers, TV sets, cell phones, land lines, ham radios, and car radios. She’s sending out letters via overnight mail – not using email, of course, ‘cause it might be infected.
The letters are going to places like Peever, Brookings, Vermillion, Opie, Highmore, Bowel, Roscoe, Phlegm, Timber Lake, Kadoka, Martin, Pine Ridge, Oral, Enning, Hoover, St. Onge, Norton, Moon, Bison, Ralph, McLaughlin, Roadnoise, Dupree, Greenlantern, Trixie, Trumpstink, Alice, and Webster. I’m sure I missed a few, but all these offices are our front lines against this vicious disease!”
Balsam-Rotisserie said The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) continues to monitor the emergence of the novel coronavirus as it is officially named. She said her department is working with the CDC and their healthcare partners across the state to prepare for and respond to a potential case. So far there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus in South Dakota, but the number of cases and infections found worldwide is increasing. She said travelers returning from China should self-monitor for 14 days for coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They should contact the SD-DOH at 800-592-1861 if they develop symptoms to aid coordination of care.
“You bet they should!” exclaimed the governor. “But that’s just part of our attack. I’m mobilizing the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) to send their Phone Police Swat Team out to critical points of electronic entry, starting right here in Pierre. Then they’ll go to Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and all the towns with state colleges in them. The regular Phone Police squadrons in county seats have already been mobilized and are going door-to-door to inform people of this virus coming through their ethernet and stuff. I suspect they’ve only had to shoot a few resistors.”
One of Gnome’s daughter’s, an aide, reminded the governor that the BIT didn’t have Phone Police or a Phone Police Swat Team.
“We don’t?” replied Gnome, her face scowling underneath her governor’s hat. “But that’s what [previous governor] Dobie Dooselgaard told me. Why that lying snake from Garretson! See if I ever take my horse over there and have him jump Devil’s Gulch again! Well, I guess I couldn’t anyway. Ol’ Midnight didn’t quite make it the last time. Had to put him down. Damn good horse, too. What a shame. Anyway, how ‘bout those land lines, huh?”
Gnome said those people with land lines will need to place their phone handsets — while still connected to the phone’s base – in either paper (preferable) or plastic grocery bags for half a day twice a week according to a set schedule. The state, in conjunction with all local and regional telephone companies will then send several brief, hypersonic bursts of air through the lines that will force any of the coronavirus spores, as well as any dust out through the lines and into the bags.
Phone owners should be sure to either use twist ties, rubber bands, or string to seal the tops of the bags to the phone cords to ensure that no virus spores or dust escapes the bag during the blow-out process. The bags should then be re-sealed and taken to local police or sheriff’s offices for proper disposal. Citizens may call BIT offices at (605) 773-4357 or Governor Gnome’s office (605) 773-3212 to find out what the schedule is for their area.
“I really do appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this very serious matter facing our state,” the governor said. “I know, an operation of this magnitude may seriously deplete our state’s budget and financial reserves. But we must all stand together. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are with me at this crucial time in our existence. We will do whatever it takes to eradicate the spread of the coronavirus – or even influenza A and B — through the Internet, phone lines, ISPs, HTTP, radio waves, and whatever . . . even if we have to enact a state income tax to do so!”
Gnome said she has hired an out-of-state advertising agency to come up with a marketing campaign for her efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. She said the advertising budget for the campaign will be $100 thousand and will involve the use of t-shirts, bumper stickers, print advertising, and grocery cart advertising. The marketing tagline will be: “S’mores. Not Spores!” and feature white people cooking s’mores on a campfire by one of the state’s lakes.
“I know one thing more for sure,” the Snow Queen Governor said emphatically, “And that is state government employees who work with phones, computers, satellites, radio waves, etc. will be getting some snazzy new hazmat suits and respirators pretty soon!
“Maybe I’ll wear mine to my next press conference.”
EDITOR”S NOTE: Please do not call the governor’s office, BIT, or SD-DOH as indicated above, unless you just want to shoot the breeze with somebody. This story is, after all, fake news, a.k.a. satire.