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home : columns : dave fjeld
November 26, 2020

10/14/2020 3:37:00 PM
Clearing the desk
Let's clear a few things from the desk:
Mixed reaction to returning to action
I'm delighted to see that the Minnesota State High School League has allowed football and volleyball to return to action this fall.
We went through an entire amateur baseball season, including a state tournament, with virtually no COVID-related issues. I think the same could be done for all fall sports even with holding state tournaments.
But it's a little late for that now and, admittedly, having to limit the number of fans that could attend also limits the gate receipts. A lack of sufficient gate receipts won't offset the expense of renting state tournament venues.
On the other hand, who says you couldn't - for one year - hold state tournaments at different sites around the state. Smaller venues, where rent wouldn't be an issue, and allowing a limited number of fans, perhaps parents only, could make the tournaments workable.
Was this considered, or did the Powers That Be get together and simply say it won't work?
And when it comes to winter sports, why a 30% reduction in contests for winter sports? Why not a 50 or 60% reduction, or a 10 or 20% reduction?
I scratch my raw head at some of the decisions that are being made. Common sense left when the virus arrived.
Walkers in the dark
To the left, you can read Nancy Tjentland's letter to the editor about those walking or jogging, especially now as the sun sets earlier in the evening and rises later in the morning.
She reminds walkers and runners to be sure to walk or run on the correct side of the street - that would be the left side of the street, against traffic. She also asks walkers and runners to wear light colored clothing, with reflector vests, if possible.
Fortunately, I'm seeing more and more people wearing the reflector vests, which is a great idea. I know when I'm driving at night I see those much more quickly.
On the flip side, I was driving down Fourth Avenue one evening about 9:30 p.m., and didn't see a walker - wearing nothing but dark clothes - until I was upon him. However, he was correctly walking against traffic.
And a reminder to drivers: We need to be thinking, when driving in the darker hours of night and morning, about people walking or running on the edge of the street. Again, Nancy correctly points out that people walking to work at Toro need to be there early and probably are wearing darker work clothing. So, make sure you're using a little extra caution.
Thanks for the reminders, Nancy!
Hamburger analogy
While interviewing Jamie Pohlmann and Rachel Axford about how they are holding band and choir rehearsals these days, Rachel shared her hamburger analogy about COVID-19 and the days in which we're living.
Pardon my pun, but it's good "food" for thought!
Wanting to make chili recently, Rachel went to her freezer to pull out a pound of hamburger and it said Feb. 27. Of course, once it's thawed there's nothing different about that pound of hamburger that's been in the freezer for seven months even though the world around it is completely different.
"We put that pound of hamburger in a new scenario and it was absolutely fine," Axford points out. "The world around it had changed, but it didn't mean it had changed. So, to me, you don't keep looking back; you look forward. There's some things that are going to come out of this that are good and we need to (continue). And there are going to be some things that are, 'Oh, I hope we never have to go through that again.' But when we do, now we know how to do it well."
There are many people who have had to adapt to a new kind of normal. Obviously, Rachel is finding the positives of the new normal.
What if . . .
While Axford is taking an optimistic view of the pandemic, I've been on the pessimistic low road.
I posed these questions last week: What happens if the vaccine that comes out in a month, two months, six months, or a year wards off COVID-19 for just a month or two? Or, it works for this person, but not for that one? If the vaccine appears to be working, are we going to be required to continue wearing masks to ensure that the vaccine is really working? If so, then for how long?
Governor Walz has said, until the "numbers" go down. Well, Gov. Walz, if the vaccine comes out and the numbers don't go down, then what? Do we continue to wear masks forever?
Nobody wants to admit it with the election just three weeks away, but I believe the coronavirus is here to stay. Short of shutting down the country, closing the borders and keeping everybody at home for a month (which, of course, you know Americans will never do) - and there's no proof those things will do any good anyway - this virus is not going away.
Do we forever live in fear of this virus and let it dictate our lives?
There are so many mixed messages, you don't know what to believe. For instance, I must wear my mask indoors at all times, except when I sit down to a restaurant table. Apparently in that 30 minutes I'm at the table, I'm not going to spread the virus because I'm six feet away from the nearest table.
Yet I'm separated by walls and windows and more than 20 feet from the nearest person in my office and I have to wear a mask when not in my clear shower curtain encased cubicle, which, of course, ensures that if I have the virus, it's only circulating in my space.
I say again, common sense left when the virus arrived.

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