Risk of 'turning the dial' may be worth the healing of human contact

Star Herald Editorial

Gov. Tim Walz last week announced another “turn of the dial” to allow business to resume almost as usual in Minnesota, effective Wednesday, June 10. (See the front-page story.)

The idea is that our coronavirus case numbers have remained conservative, which has given us time to prepare for what was expected to be a greater “surge” in case numbers than we’ve experienced.

What does that mean for us as individuals?

We’re compelled to give our friends and family the hugs that have been long forbidden.

We’re driven to participate in all the social activity that for months we’ve been deprived of.

We could see previously isolated human beings practically blossom at outings all over in Rock County during the past several days.

The experience of attending a Redbirds game in Valley Springs was enriched by encounters among fellow baseball fans that hadn’t shared bleachers or lawn space in almost a year.

A person could feel the collective sigh of contentment.

Similarly outdoor patios and sidewalk seating at Luverne bars and restaurants were packed (yes, packed — not socially distanced) during the Friday Night Cruise-In that cruised around town.

People hungry for the taste of carnival food were clustered four lines deep at the Indian Taco mobile vendor at the Take 16 curb.

And there were smiles all around. And it felt very good.

But it wasn’t very safe. Or very smart.

We all know the pandemic isn’t over, and we all know the virus is still circulating among us.

Our health is at risk. And we need to be more careful, if not for ourselves, then for the more vulnerable among us.

We know the relaxed social distancing measures will likely lead to more infections, but if laughter is the best medicine, and smiles are good for the soul, it might be a risk worth taking.

Stay safe, Star Herald readers. It sure is nice to see you coming and going at the front counter again, even if exchanging greetings through plexiglass.

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