COVID-19 is officially out of control across our state of Minnesota. Despite so many of us being responsible during this difficult situation, we must ask 'everyone' to do more! As two elected District 17 legislators, we need to be straight with everyone that all steps must be looked at that could make a difference in the fight to get us to a safe and recognizable end to the COVID -19 crisis.
We now see a vaccine quickly approaching as our federal government and pharmaceutical companies work on operation ‘Warp-Speed". And we hope for a quick and efficient disbursement of the vaccine as soon as it becomes available. We will take any steps necessary at the state level to ensure this happens as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
In the meantime, we all need to keep as many people as possible healthy, employed, and giving our health care workers the time needed to keep our region and state to continue moving ahead and prospering. Businesses have been doing a great job posting signage, separating tables and getting plexiglass in their spaces. They are requiring mask wearing for staff, hand washing often along with extra cleaning many times over.
What businesses need from all of us right now is better masking at all times. We know some medically can’t wear a mask, but many can, but are choosing to ‘not be told what to do”. We understand the arguments but wearing a mask is not, we repeat is "not" bowing to any political party or governor. It is showing a sign of respect to the businesses trying to keep our neighbors employed, kids staying in school and so on.
Minnesota can’t ignore the exploding COVID-19 case numbers any longer. We need to patronize our struggling local businesses as much as possible if we expect them to survive. And if you hopefully decide to support a local restaurant and you take it off when you are seated, always remember to mask up when going to the restroom, getting up to visit with a neighbor or anytime you leave that table.
In the retail store, wear the mask properly and during the duration. Business workers are frankly tired of being ‘barked at’ for reminding customers to mask up. The businesses don’t want to be in trouble either. Many of our cherished, established, and historic local businesses are nearly facing the end of their operation, please consider this when visiting and supporting them.
So please, not because it’s a mandate but because two of us are asking to acknowledge the real numbers around us, and ask each of you can you help us do a little better. Our businesses are humbly asking us for your help.
State Rep. Dave Baker
R - Willmar, House District 17B
State Sen. Andrew Lang
R - Olivia, Senate District 17