Face masks again (I just can’t help it)

Deb Moldaschel. Editor
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Big day today (well, it’s Wednesday morning as I write this, so I guess — big day yesterday for those reading the print paper.)

I got my daily email from the governor’s office with the subject line: Governor Walz to announce the next steps in the state’s response to COVID-19. The press conference set for 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Of course, I’m guessing, but I believe the announcement involves face masks. The paper will be printed by the time we find out.

A person made a comment to me (on social media) that I am bullying and trying to scare people when I advocate for wearing masks. I apologize. My intent is simply to try to sway opinions — but that is difficult to do when opinions about public health are so often construed as to be about our political thoughts.

I just want people to remain healthy and our public health and medical professionals tell us that wearing a mask can help as we battle COVID-19.

I am encouraged that President Trump has said this himself. He even said it is probably patriotic to wear a face mask when we can’t social distance. Many areas of our country are currently in disaster mode over the spread of the virus. My hope is that we can prevent that from happening here.

Tuesday afternoon the governor held a press conference to report on the successes the state has experienced in assisting long-term care facilities keep cases down. One of the points they made is that half of Minnesota’s 368 nursing homes have never had a reported case. This includes our local nursing homes and we can join them in being so thankful for that.

While the governor was very pleased to share success stories about long-term care facilities, it seemed he was also eager to share his disdain for the recently completed special session of the legislature — especially on the topic of their failure (for the third year) to pass a bonding bill. He mentioned the hoped for project to raise the highway at Henderson to prevent the flooding that happens there on so often — a project that is not funded now. He was mad.

I’m disappointed. Our legislators are supposed to work through their differences and find a solution for Minnesotans. Once again, they couldn’t do it.