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Et Cetera …

Walz team does its job

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz this week took action on two fronts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He extended his stay-at-home order until May 18. And he loosened some restrictions on businesses, allowing them to reopen for curbside pickup and deliveries beginning Monday.

The governor is trying to weigh two harsh realities: the casualties caused by the virus and the economic suffering that is creating immediate and long-term damage. Not an easy task, and we continue to wish Walz and his administration good luck as they tackle terrible circumstances.

Plant being proactive

Speaking of the pandemic, it has been a frustrating, discouraging week in the Fairmont area, where the number of virus cases has jumped significantly, after seemingly leveling off for a while. The leap is tied, in part, to cases emerging at local food-processing plant Fairmont Foods, but there are unrelated cases as well.

We appreciate what we have heard about Fairmont Foods’ proactive approach to dealing with the outbreak. It has been working with Human Services, Mayo and the state Department of Health to address the situation. Kudos to all involved.

Tree dump too popular

The city of Fairmont has developed a problem with its tree dump. It is too popular.

The site is meant to serve local residents, who pay $2 per month on their utility bills for citywide cleanup, leaf pickup and the tree dump. Fairmont residents are not shy about utilizing the site, but neither are residents from around the county. The place is stacked high with limbs and branches.

The city is not ignoring the problem and is weighing possible solutions. It’s too bad more people do not want to take wood from the site for fireplaces and fire pits, or even other uses.

A discouraging sign

A report to the Fairmont City Council this week noted that local liquor sales have jumped amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order issued by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Sales were up 41 percent in March. This is not a good sign.

It indicates an unsettling range of emotions among area residents, including boredom, anger, depression and the desire to escape reality. All understandable, but not healthy. People will do what they are going to do, and we are not condemning anyone. But there are healthier alternatives amid this “down time,” including eating better and getting exercise. Or helping others.

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