“We can opt to throw caution to the wind and spoil the fruits of our sacrifice…or we can continue to tend the soil as we wait for the crops to flourish.”
Governor Tim Walz reminded Minnesotans this weekend that despite the best efforts of the citizens of our state, and the political leaders who have guided us over the past several weeks, there will still be hard days when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
More Minnesotans will get sick. More will die. More jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered.
But, we already know this. We’ve known this for weeks.
Yes, there will always be hard days ahead.
Most importantly, there will also always be easier days, too.
This is something that gets lost in the wall-to-wall coverage of this insipid virus.
Humanity cannot live in isolation forever even if it appears to be the solution to what ails us at the moment.
Frankly, I withhold any judgement on those businesses and their employees who feel that they are in a position to re-open their doors and return to work.
If they believe, in good conscience, they can do so safely and protect themselves and their customers then that is their right and they should do what they think is right.
Yet, there’s no question that the directives given to Minnesotans by our Governor to stay-at-home over the past weeks has had a dramatic impact in saving the lives of our fellow citizens.
It has, of course, come with a cost and a heavy one at that for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
Given the choice the vast majority of unemployed Minnesotans due to COVID-19 would rather be at their job, working, rather than collecting unemployment or a “stimulus check.”
Perhaps beginning today that return to a sense of normalcy will begin for those Minnesotans returning to work as their businesses cautiously re-open.
And, perhaps within those stories there will be stories shared publicly of the powerful antidote that regaining that sense of normalcy will have on their lives and those of their families.
There will be more hard days ahead but there will be easier days, too.
There will be good days. There will be bad days.
We know far more than we need to right now about the bad days, I believe.
That news doesn’t inspire, motivate or empower people to move forward.
Governor Walz and more than a handful of other Minnesotan political leaders — Democrats and Republicans — have been the leaders we needed at this time of our lives.
Because of them, and because of millions of Minnesotans and tens of thousands of health care professionals and those that support them, the bad days will soon be outnumbered by the easier days.
It’s hard, these bad days, but they will not be the new normal. They are the current normal.
The new normal will be what we choose to make it in the days, the weeks and the months ahead.
We’ve gotten this far with a strategy of containment and isolation that has been implemented by men and women of good faith.
They implemented and implored us to follow these policies with words, conviction and information — not at the end of the barrel of a gun.
Now, with the apex of COVID-19 nearing its logical conclusion we must make an educated decision as citizens of this state, as well as this nation.
We can opt to throw caution to the wind and spoil the fruits of our sacrifice over the weeks we have experienced isolation from one another or we can continue to tend the soil as we wait for the crops to flourish.
There are more bad days ahead.
But by continuing to work together there are, of this I know to be true, many, many easier days ahead, too.