Be Safe, Be Smart

By: Erin R. Hennessy

“Here’s the thing, Jude. Part of being an adult is realizing that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.” -John Robinson, Lost in Space

Minnesota’s governor has finally decided to let our ‘Stay Home’ order expire on Sunday night, to be replaced with a ‘Stay Safe’ order. Retail stores are opening next week, with added precautions to keep employees and customers safe. On June 1, bars and restaurants will be opening. I will begin offering babysitting services (with my own precautions) again for the parents who are sure to want a night off, even if to go for a walk, get takeout and eat riverside.

I’m glad our governor is still insisting on being safe. Just because we are opening up again does not mean the danger has passed. All it means is that it is safe enough to stop being on complete lockdown. We still need to be safe and think about our decisions as we go about our daily lives. For me, at least, every time I walk out the door I’m still going to be asking myself “Do I need to go to this place? Am I taking the neccessary precautions to protect myself and others?” I will continue to wear masks to the grocery store, retail outlets, and restaurants. It won’t be easy for me, because I read lips to communicate but I am doing it for the safety of others. That is a sacrifice I am willing to make for my state, my neighbors, my friends, and my family.

It’s Minnesota. We have a lot of lakes. We like to fish, boat, golf, hike, swim…once the snow melts and the ice unthaws, we are outside. It’s Minnesota culture and I understand this. There are ways to do these things safely, however. Stay in your own boat. Golf in small groups. Hike large open spaces like regional parks. Get a sprinkler or other water games for your family to enjoy in the yard. Many people are itching to visit their cabins up north – I understand that urge, my family had a cabin up north as well. I just can’t help thinking that might be taking an unneccessary risk. On the drive up, every time you stop for gas, food, or stretch your legs, you risk infecting people or people infecting you. Once you’re up there, every time you come into contact with someone else, you risk infection. And then, you risk putting strain on the small-town hospitals that are not equipped to care for and treat every resident and summer cabin-goer. If you have to go to the cabin, please use safety precautions and wear a mask, wash your hands, and use other safety precautions to ensure you are not spreading the virus around.

As we open the country up again, I ask my readers to please be smart and stay safe!

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