***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Needless to say that the last week has been difficult for our nation and for the State of Iowa. Words that were unknown to most of us a few months ago are now part of our everyday vocabulary.  Words such as Covid-19 and Community Spread.

Covid-19 (an acronym for Co-Corona Vi-Virus D-Disease = Covid and 19 is the year it was discovered).

Community Spread (defined as a disease that has become so prevalent that the person who contracts it can’t determine where it came from).

Covid-19 multiplies quickly and is highly contagious.

On Sunday the Governor along with Senate and House Leadership agreed on closing the Capitol beginning Tuesday, March 16th through April 15th.  That date can be extended if deemed necessary.   While this was a very difficult decision it makes sense because thousands of Iowans come to the Capitol on a daily basis.  Legislators and staff of the House and Senate alone account for around 400 people.  Legislators would unintentionally spread the virus.  It would only take one House or Senate member to bring it to the Capitol, infecting other legislators who will then take it back to their districts and re-infecting others adding to the exponential growth across the state.

The reason for the quarantine is that growth would happen so quickly, healthcare would be overpowered by the disease, making treatment for all Iowans difficult.  The gravity and solemnity of the situation is sobering.  Following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health for congregations of people should be kept to an amount of 10 or less, effectively leaving many businesses with no choice but to close their doors until the pandemic is past us.

Monday was spent in the Capitol writing and passing bills and resolutions that will allow for extension of the state’s budget through August 31st if we are unable to reconvene before then. The bill also gives the Governor access to the Economic Emergency Fund to address Covid-19. Iowa schools will be closed for four weeks. These days will not need to be made up as the bill waives instructional time requirements. This bill also gives the Governor the ability to waive those requirements after April 12th as well.

Democrats and Republicans were at the Statehouse till Midnight on Monday, both sides worked together to try to help all Iowans in need.  It was one of the most bi-partisan days that I have seen on the hill.  In days to come, I know we will all work together to combat this virus. Closing the Capitol does not mean that we will quit working. There are many things we can do from our homes with the electronic media that is available to us. There are still some important policy bills that I am hoping we can work on when we get back to regular business. We hope that all of this passes soon and am hopeful that we can get back to our regular lives very soon.

The Center for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health will be sending out recommendations periodically.  Please take their advice. You can get more information and recommendations for Covid-19 simply by calling 211 and following their prompts. I know we can beat this disease if we all work together as Iowans. Due to the limit on gatherings, all forums will be canceled at this time. Take care and stay healthy.