Thoughts on the Pandemic

This week our board member Jane Norbin, a retired public health professional, shares her perspective on the Covid-19 crisis. MMFS has benefited from her smarts and foresight, we’re certain you’ll find her comments and insight realistic but ultimately hopeful:

On April 22 Governor Walz and staff announced a new plan for testing, which is aggressive but at this point, aspirational.  We think Jane’s comments remain timely and spot on.

As a former Public Health Director, I have watched, with much interest, the policy decisions made at both the state and federal level in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Public Health is science based and much of my career has been spent using science and data to make good public policy decisions. What I see around the country and here in Minnesota, is that when policy actions are based on the best science of the day, the outcomes are favorable. Although some of those policy actions lead to inconvenience, discomfort, and downright painful times for many of us, the alternative would be worse. I applaud our governor and others for using the best science and data to make decisions that impact all of us. There is no other reasonable approach to this conundrum we find ourselves in.

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We are all asking, “How long do we stay at home?” “When and how does this end?” Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. We need to see minimal community spread of the virus before we can gather again. The only way to confirm this is if we can do widespread testing for the presence of the virus as well as testing for an antibody response to see if you may be immune. Both of those actions seem to be, at best, weeks or months away.

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One of the most impressive things emerging from this experience is the outpouring of generosity, kindness and support in our communities. At the worst of times, we are capable of being our best and that is showing. Look around; people everywhere are reaching out to neighbors, friends, family and complete strangers to lend a hand and give help where needed. Even Democrats and Republicans appear to be trying to work together at our state capitol! If we can keep this up, perhaps something good may come of this after all. Stay safe and be well.
     — Jane

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