Thumbs Up/Down

Vaccination clinics

THUMBS UP: New Ulm High School and Sleepy Eye Elementary School gyms were the sites of two Brown County COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week. By account we heard, they were well organized and efficient, treating 390 people Wednesday evening. Most of them were school staff and daycare providers, the next tier of those deemed most essential to receive the vaccines.

If these events were any indication, Brown County residents can expect to be vacacinated quickly, when the state gets enough vaccine to provide protection to the rest of us.

How super will it be?

THUMBS DOWN: This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, and while we welcome this chance to focus on something besides COVID-19 cases, the virus will be casting a long shadow over the proceedings.

This year’s run up to the Super Bowl has been less than exhiliarating. It’s being held in Tampa Bay, a wonderful draw in winter, but with only 25,000 fans allowed it’s going to seem pretty quiet. The week of feasting and festivities by the fans has been cut back considerably. The media hordes surrounding the players are masked and socially distanced, the players themselves are staying in their bubble.

People are being urged to stay home to watch the game instead of gathering with crowds of friends. We heard one warning that if you do host people, be sure to wear masks, stay six feet apart and — don’t share food!

About the only thing to focus on is the game itself. And while that’s not bad, it’s not, well, Super.

50 years after Apollo

THUMBS UP: Why, when I was your age… Most people, hearing that, expect that they will be told some tale of how primitive and tough it was when their parents were young. But old folks these days can tell their kids, “When I was your age, we were sending astronauts to the moon.”

This week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission, when Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the moon. Shepard, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, made history when he hit a couple of golf balls with a makeshift six iron he had brought along on the mission.

Fifty years later, it has been a long time since we have accomplished something so daring and unthinkable. The last moon mission, Apollo 17, was in 1972.

When you think about it, you have to wonder – what will be the next great adventure mankind undertakes? Or will we ever dare to stretch out and challenge ourselves as we did with the Apollo missions?


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