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Challenge, response

THUMBS UP: The events of the past couple of weeks with the COVD-19 virus outbreak culminated this week with Gov. Tim Walz doing what other states have already done, issuing a “Stay at Home” order for Minnesota. His order asks us all to shelter in place, to avoid going out unless absolutely necessary, to avoid crowds, to keep our distance from others, all in hopes of slowing the spread of the disease and not overburden our limited hospital ICU beds and respirators.

These are dire times, but we have great hope that we will get through this. The response of people everywhere has been, “Okay, if that’s what we’ve got to do, let’s do it.”

We are also impressed by the efforts of many individuals to help others make it through. People like Tammy Kieper, of Springfield, who bought 128 floral bouquets from Springfield Floral, a purchase that provided a real boost to the business that is struggling like all the others. Kieper asked that the bouquets be delivered to the St. John Luhteran Home campus to cheer all the residents who can’t receive visitors these days.

We are cheered by the signs people have been putting up and the messages being chalked in the sidewalks, encouraging us and thanking the first responders and health care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis. Thanks also to the teachers and school administrators who are adapting to online education so kids can stay home and stay healthy.

We expect things will get worse before they get better, but with the strength and resilience we have seen so far, we hope our communities will come through this challenge.

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