COVID-19 – One year later, still counting
It’s been a year since Minnesota and the rest of the nation was shut down. Panic ensued. At first swipe Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of his medical advisory team said masks don’t work. Then, we were hit with mandatory mask wearing. More confusion led to lockdowns.
Senior care facilities were shuttered. No outside visitors were allowed to visit family at Prairie Meadows, Fairview Care Center and other facilities were forbidding outsiders to enter.
The elderly were protected in our state and region. That was in contrast to New York State which used senior rest homes as venues for COVID-19 patients and that led to the deaths of thousands.
There were conspiracies that led the gullible to assert that a microchip would be part of the vaccination. Three vaccines eventually became part of the campaign to snuff out this virus that had its origin in China and swept across the world.
We were warned to stay home, wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when soap and water were not available, social distance–stay at least six feet from other people, and forget about going out for dinner.
Restaurants were closed. Bars we shuttered. Most businesses were closed unless they were considered essential by the government. The governor said cafes, restaurants, variety stores and flooring stores among others were non-essential.
Operation Warp Speed was instituted by the past administration fast-tracking vaccines to thwart the coronavirus. Still, thousands were dying. First, we hit 100,000 and soon, we were hitting a quarter of a million deaths of fellow citizens.
Who, a year ago, would have guessed we’d hit more than 500,000 deaths in America?
Worldwide, 117,555,468 have contracted the virus. More than 2.6 million have died and 94 million have recovered. In the U.S. our cases inched toward 30 million cases and yet 20 million-plus have recovered.
In the Gopher state we have lost 6,618 fellow Minnesotans and some 490,011 have contracted COVID-19 (476,055 have recovered).
While all of these statistics are stunning, remember that the Center for Disease Control said that only 6 percent of deaths in the U.S. were attributed to COVID-19. If that is true, the death count in fact is 30,000.
Drilling down further, there were 1,546 cases reported in Dodge County. We did lose four county residents to this virus. But, 1,518 have recovered. (These numbers were compiled March 8, 2021.)
Operation Warp Speed did pay off…64 percent of Minnesotans over 65 have received the virus and over 1 million have been vaccinated.
Three vaccines are now available – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, with a single pill being tested for its possible use in the U.S.
One year later, one thing is certain: we all want this virus behind us.
Wildcats on ice
Last Saturday was Dodge County Wildcats’ boys hockey team’s last regular season game. As a huge fan of hockey, I was impressed with the tremendous skills the team exhibited in skating, stickhandling, passing, and knowing where to place the puck – in the net of course! I watched with amazement as the Wildcats took on opponents and worked their magic on ice.
Having grown up in Cloquet, home of the Lumberjacks, and watching northeastern powerhouses like Hermantown play, I had to admit that the ‘Cats were excellent in every facet of the game.
I told our editor, Karen Jorgensen, (the Great Dane), that our kids were by far one of the best high school hockey teams I have seen.
I bragged that they are as good as some college teams and certainly as good as any high school team in executing the fundamentals of the game.
It’s obvious that these kids have had excellent coaching and a huge desire to play the game wide open and with an enormous amount of energy.