I walk my dog every morning in Thompson Park. Because of my experience, I want to thank the Willmar city workers who take care of that park and all our parks.

In this COVID-19 period, many people need to be thanked. I want to thank the Willmar City Council for making difficult decisions. A special thank you to the outgoing council members. Thanks to people who plow our streets.

Now with COVID cases rising, we need to thank our health care workers again.

As our hospitals fill, our health care workers are being taxed even more, especially, the staff in our long-term care facilities.

Our mental health workers have also been taxed as this pandemic can affect the mental health of people in our community.

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Thanks to these essential workers.

Police officers and firefighters and other emergency workers need to be thanked for functioning in their essential roles.

Teachers are another group that needs to be thanked. One teacher explained she was really teaching two classes: one to the students in her face-to-face class and another to all the students who were quarantined. Teachers need to put in more hours to complete the same job that they did before the pandemic.

Thanks to employees in retail, often exposed to people who refused to wear masks. Thanks to all the stores and restaurants that offer curbside delivery.

Thanks to all the people who supply our food, such as employees at Jennie-O. I also thank all the employees that deliver to our houses, saving us from exposure, such as the mail carriers, Fed Ex delivery people, and UPS delivery drivers.

I am sure I have left people out of this list, so I want to add a thank you to all the people in our community that continue to help people get through this pandemic.

I am ending with thanks to the pastors and leaders of our faith community, often putting services online, so we can continue to attend services in a safe way. In those services, we thank God for help in getting us through this pandemic.

Peggy Karsten

Willmar