On Thursday, March 12, 2020, our family was joining friends at the Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis to watch the Fillmore Central girls basketball team battle for an opportunity to earn a state title.
Before we left Preston, Minn., for their first game, there was speculation that the state tournament was changing to a single elimination format. By the next day, on Friday morning, we learned that the entire state tournament was cancelled.
And then everything else unraveled, as explained on today’s front page.
It’s hard to believe how much our world has changed in a matter of days.
I never thought I’d hear myself ever say this, but right now I’d rather go through the exhausting winter blizzards of February 2019.
But, I’m an eternal optimist. And, I do believe that in Fillmore County, Minn., social distancing is quite a bit easier due to our sparsely populated area.
As long as we heed to the warnings, I think we will fare better in this battle with COVID-19.
At this point, I feel like the panic has been worse than the pandemic. Panic seems to beget panic.
I think that as long as EVERYONE follows the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, we will mitigate COVID-19 and flatten the curve.
The CDC echoes what your mom always told you as a kid.
•Wash your hands
•Avoid close contact with people who are sick
•Stay home if you’re sick
•Cover coughs and sneezes
•Wear a face mask if you are sick (mom’s new rule in 2020)
•Clean and disinfect daily
Unfortunately, as of press time, it appears that some states in the U.S. have still not mandated the closure of all schools. And, national media has brought attention to the fact that young people (18 to 22 years old) are partying on beaches in Florida for spring break. They are young and invincible, I guess, not taking it serious.
The U.S. has had the benefit of taking on COVID-19 starting 41 days after China engaged in this viral war. China started flattening the curve 23 days into the pandemic, and reports indicate life is returning to normal. So, we’ve had an opportunity to see what needs to be done to contain this virus. Hopefully, we’ve learned something from these other countries.
Keeping local businesses in business
While we wait this out, we need to keep in mind that there are local businesses feeling the pain of diminished cash flow while the bills still keep coming. What affects their business ultimately affects them personally. Most of these businesses have had to reluctantly layoff employees to weather this storm. But, they don’t know for how long. There’s a lot of uncertainty.
These are the same businesses that show their support for the schools with donations to the booster clubs, post-prom parties, 4-H, FFA, sports teams, and class trips.
They support the community as much as possible. Hopefully, we can support them during a very challenging time.
In this week’s center spread, our readers will notice that all of the dining establishments in our area have an advertisement sharing their change in hours and operations. Some of these establishments are offering curbside pick-up and delivery. This entire center spread has been sponsored by the Hoiness family that owns Harmony Foods, Preston Foods, and Rushford Foods. They did not ask for the recognition, but they deserve it.
This is an important time to do what we can to support others when possible.
This too shall pass. We are all in this together.