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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/18/20

Epidemic Epistle IX: Put to the (COVID-19) Test by the National Guard in Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania National Guard fights against the coronavirus The Pennsylvania Army National Guard (the 28th Infantry Division) is heavily involved with the coronavirus relief efforts. Many of the warfighter training areas ...
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By Dave Lindorff

My wife Joyce and I visited the front in the war zone yesterday.

I'm talking about the "war" on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

We registered for COVID-19 testing on Tuesday when Joyce, usually highly energetic, started feeling physically drained for no reason and began running a low-grade elevated temperature of 98.9 all day. We decided that our both getting tested was a wise idea, particularly as I have a lung vulnerability that would make my contracting the disease particularly risky.

As we drove onto the campus of the Montgomery County Community College where a drive-through testing center had been set up, we were checked first for IDs and registration receipts from the county Health Department by a friendly county sheriff's deputy. Then we drove on past a police car to the rear of one of two lines of six vehicles waiting to enter one of two big drive-through tents set up for obtaining the test kids, receiving instructions, performing the tests and turning in the little plastic tubes containing our used nasal swab sticks.

We were surprised to see several big air-conditioned desert sand-colored canvas "quonset huts" and a bunch of young guys dressed in camo uniforms. Driving closer to the testing tent, we could see that the personnel handing out and retrieving the test kits, as well as other people recording date, managing the refrigerated containers for the completed tests, etc., were also camo-clad soldiers, all with a unit of the Army National Guard and all wearing masks and latex gloves.

Turns out, on investigation, that the testing operations across the state of Pennsylvania are being funded by money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency under National Emergency orders, with the Guard units under the jurisdiction of state governors like PA's Gov. Tom Wolf.

The Guardsmen in the unit (we didn't see any women in uniform on the site, though they may have been there working in the two quonset huts), were patient friendly guys, and it was nice to see soldiers working in this kind of capacity instead of doing what the guard has been doing lately in cities like Philadelphia, Washington, DC and cities in 27 other states. beating up, tear gassing and busting up peaceful protests.

If we could keep our troops confined to these kinds of activities, with their sidearms and assault rifles left back in lockers, the country and the Constitution would be a whole lot better off, and the nation's people of color could breathe a bit more freely.

The testing itself was very efficient. Our car made it to the inside of the tent in under half an hour, the test took about five minutes from start to finish, and we were out and back on the road home minutes later. In just over 24 hours we had our test results"

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go to:

(Article changed on June 18, 2020 at 13:56)

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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