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COVID-19 cases increasing in Sleepy Eye area; impact is on all of us; solution is up to us

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

I hope you’ve read the entire front page COVID-19 update article. The numbers have just been crazy lately for Brown County. I understood that the staff at Brown County Public Health have been inundated with work related to case investigation and contact tracing. I also knew they are eager to ask the public to be more careful.

With an early printing deadline this week, I reached out to BCPH Director Karen Moritz on Monday morning with a bit of an unrealistic request. Could she provide some statement and cautionary message after receiving the day’s new numbers? And, I mean I asked if she could do that very quickly because I had to get the article written before the end of the day.

Her dedication to the work and respect for the hard work of her staff were very evident when Moritz replied a few hours later with what she called  “my highlights and my pleading message.”

One of the important points Moritz made was the impact this spread of COVID-19 has on businesses and schools—the very places we want to keep open and thriving. She said the virus is not spreading inside the schools, but is spreading in students and staff through their outside of school activities.

In my opinion, our schools will not be able to continue with students in school unless this changes. When a large number of staff or an entire class is quarantined, it becomes very difficult to provide instruction.

Some people comment that they are not afraid of the virus, so they should be allowed to carry on as normal, while those who “are afraid” just stay home. Have they thought what this means?

People who go about their lives as if the virus can’t get them, or won’t hurt them, could be infected and spreading the virus unknowingly. When they enter a business place without a mask and perhaps infect a worker, they might just be shutting down that business for two weeks or more. 

It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.