As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage across our state, country and world, things appear very bleak. Businesses, schools and sports have all but ground to a halt. People are being urged to stay inside and keep up social distancing in order to reduce the number of infections. We see disheartening numbers of new cases and cancellation after cancellation of events we have been looking forward to. While we don’t know how long this present reality will last, one thing I have seen come out of this is the strength of everyday people to confront difficult situations; and that there is light at the end of the tunnel, as long as we stay careful.
A few months ago, many of us couldn’t imagine the place we would be in now. While coronavirus spread in China and to other parts of the world, it seemed far away from Minnesota and the United States. Then the dominoes started falling. Major sports leagues around the country started to postpone their seasons. Colleges and universities closed their doors and sent students home. Governors declared stay-at-home orders. In a couple weeks, life as we know it was forever changed. Despite these horrific circumstances, we have seen great acts of bravery and a determination to carry on life with ingenuity.
I want to first of all thank our amazing healthcare workers who day in and day out are risking their lives to protect every one of us by treating this disease head on. Every test done and patient cared for is another life saved. Across the nation, even with the stay-at-home orders and social distancing, hospitals are being strained and the healthcare system is working overtime to make sure people are treated and the spread is slowed. Without their valiant efforts things would be much worse.
While this pandemic is ongoing, we see many working to maintain a semblance of normal. Teachers and students are working with technology to keep classes going from home. Businesses are teleworking, or adopting measures to keep people safe through spacing out workers and keeping environments clean. Religious institutions provide faith services live online. Families, friends and neighbors videoconference and check in on each other to make sure they’re doing alright.
Despite the dark times we’re in, people aren’t giving in to despair. We are keeping up hope and the belief that eventually we will turn this corner. It’s encouraging to me to see we have faith and keep doing what we can to keep up our own and each other’s spirits. While we wait out a pandemic we don’t know how long will last, we should keep up with this spirit of optimism. Each new story of hope I hear from people I know or on the news gives me more belief in our common humanity and perseverance.
And while we wish for a speedy end to this crisis, we also should remember the terrible price that has been paid already by people who have died and the lives that have been upended during this time. That is why it’s so important for us to honor those affected the most by following the advice of experts in staying at home and social distancing. While we all want to get back to normal, I certainly do, every additional case of Covid-19 spread through carelessness keeps up the spread of the virus and makes the rising curve of infections less likely to flatten. This makes ending restrictions more dangerous and thus prolongs how long the quarantine will continue.
I wish everyone well and hope you are all staying healthy and safe. While these times we’re living in may be scary and uncertain, I know we will make it out on the other side. We just need to keep fighting on, following safety guidelines and watching out for our families and neighbors. We’ll get through this together, I know we will.