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OPINION

Good news . . . and freedom of expression (don't we live in a great country?)

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Did you follow the news from Governor Walz and our state health officials about the plan for COVID-19 vaccinations? It is so good to finally have some hopeful news.

The first people to be vaccinated will be health care workers and long-term care residents. That will give us all another dose of hope! We need our health care providers to care for us and our loved ones. Keeping those who reside in nursing homes and similar facilities safe from COVID-19 should also create a sigh of relief for their families, and for all of us.

It is going to take a number of months before all who want a vaccination to get one.  We all need to continue wearing masks and social distancing. Let’s take the pressure of so many newly infected patients off our health care system as they prepare to administer vaccines.

For those who get their Herald-Dispatch news on our website — what do you think of the new design? The transition to  new websites is a project our parent company, Gannett, is undertaking with newsrooms across the nation. It’s been a huge project company-wide, with many hours of training for local newsroom staff.

The website is found at sleepyeyenews.com. If you are a print subscriber you have free access to the website and our e-edition; we also offer digital-only subscriptions.

Our e-edition is an exact replica of the print paper and is posted shortly after we go to press. The website is populated with individual stories and photos. I add those to the website, a few every day. 

I also add breaking news — like the news that a manufacturing business is purchasing the former Del Monte plant and bringing new jobs to Sleepy Eye — as it comes to my attention. I don’t want you to wait to hear the latest important news for Sleepy Eye! 

After stories have been posted to our website, I also post a link to those stories on our Facebook page.

It’s pretty exciting when a Facebook post gets lots of traffic. A good news story about local kids is sure to gain notice and generate lots of “likes” and often several comments.

I am in the habit of posting my column on our website also; and then posting the link on Facebook. It’s a humbling experience when no one seems to notice.

Last week I wrote that the election is over and President Trump lost.

Well, wow! Guess what happened?

A gazillion (definitely an exaggeration) people noticed and lots of them didn’t like it. They kind of hated it.

No worries, I can take a difference of opinion. That’s the purpose of opinion columns in the newspaper — generate thought and response.

That Facebook post has generated, as of early Wednesday morning, 188 comments from 51 people. Many of those 51 people made only one comment and many others continued to either argue or agree among themselves over the week.

It is not a mild response, more like very angry. Rather than disagree with my opinion and provide reasoned arguments for why they hold a different opinion, many of the people just thought I should not express my opinion (because it is different from theirs) and certainly shouldn’t post it. Several called for my firing.

Oh, and some agreed with me.

Ahh, freedom of expression. Don’t we live in a great country?