End the duopoly

A Coronavirus Turf War in Klickitat County

The upper stretches of the White Salmon River, on the western edge of Klickitat County. Photographs by Michael Hanson for The New Yorker Klickitat County, in south-central Washington, along the border with Oregon, got its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on March 14th. The seriousness of the virus was still sinking in for many Americans; the N.B.A. had suspended its season just three days before, and few schools had been closed at that point. But Washington State had seen the virus sooner than most : the first U.S. case was diagnosed in suburban Seattle, in late January, and the first U.S. death occurred there, too, on February 29th. Klickitat, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island and home to around twenty thousand people, is a couple hundred miles southeast of Seattle. For many of its residents, COVID -19 still seemed far away, and possibly of questionable authenticity. “In the beginning, a lot of people weren’t taking the virus seriously here,” Merrit Monnat, who runs a farm with her husband in the county seat of Goldendale, population three thousand, told me recently. “I heard people say it’s a conspiracy theory.” The sheriff of Klickitat County is a man […]

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