This week on the Minnesota Native News Health Report, the virus surges among young people and – the community deals with Covid’s many hidden consequences.
Story #1 Young people
State health officials are concerned about Covid-19’s spread among people in their 20s. They are now the largest age group of confirmed cases in the state. The spread coincides with bars allowing people inside. The median age of infection has been dropping. It’s now just under 39 years old.
KE: I’ve been hearing from various sources that people may be organizing and attending a Covid party presumably so that they can get Covid at a time that may be more convenient for them.This is a really really bad idea.
This is Kris Ehresmann the state’s infectious disease director.
KE: Not only do they risk getting serious illness or complications, but there’s a very real chance of passing it on to family members or people in the community who might be at increased risk.
The message from health officials this week is “don’t play Russian Roulette” with Covid-19. Even if you go to a house party, a bar or a cabin with friends, try your best to stay 6 feet apart and wear a mask. Even though it’s hard, it’s crucially important.
Story 2 – Talking Circles
The Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center – M-I-W-R-C – has announced weekly virtual talking circles. Laurie Stern reports.
Normally, staff at the M-I-W-R-C are out in the community offering support and resources to people who need them. Since the pandemic, they’ve been working from home, and coming up with new ways to help.
Hi, my name is Sarah Edstrom. I am a sexual assault advocate with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center and we are thrilled to announce our new virtual talking circle for women and Two Spirit individuals will be meeting virtually every Monday from two to three.
SE: When you think about historical trauma. What we’re seeing right now is really replaying what has happened to native people throughout history. We’re dealing with a virus that is wiping people out. A government that is not responding to it. People who are debating, you know, whose life matters worse Same police violence. But one thing that’s been happening as a result of the pandemic and isolation is there’s been huge spikes in domestic and sexual abuse. People aren’t able to escape their abusers. one thing that’s been happening as a result of the pandemic and isolation is there’s been huge spikes in domestic and sexual abuse. People aren’t able to escape their abusers.
That could be because they can’t afford to leave. There’s less work and fewer choices about places to live. The virtual meetings will be on Zoom, and secure. Participants should contact MIWRC staff to be let in.
One of the super cool things about being virtual is you think about there are a lot of remote rural areas where people may not have access to a community group that’s culturally specific. So it’s really wild to think about, you know, usually, my group sizes are determined by, you know, does someone live near a bus route can they get here and now it’s going to be, I could be talking to someone living six hours away, provided they have access to a phone.
The virtual meetings have a spiritual name. They will be called Cedar Tea Time. The idea for the name came from a story Sarah heard from an elder.
SE when you look at a lot of tribes, traditionally, bad feelings and experiences were Bringers of teachings. You weren’t supposed to hide from them. He said, we need to quit running. When you keep having this bad feeling come back. Every time you push it away, it’s going to come back stronger. Instead, sit down with it for tea. Ask it why it’s here. What you experience as painful as it may be, has gifts. So I always think of sit down with your pain for tea, ask it what it has to teach you.
M-I-W-R-C staff know groups aren’t for everyone. So they’re offering individual meetings as well. Visit the website for more information or email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cecilia Petit at email@example.com.