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Just what is this new normal thing

By Staff | Aug 2, 2020

Last week I shared a few random thoughts from the editor. It received so many comments (OK, there was at least one) that I will share a few more this week.

School Daze

Well, as predicted, the governor has pretty much let the local schools decide how they will operate this year. Well, sort of, anyway.

Locally, the schools have been preparing for this scenario all along, as best as they can.

School will be open, and that is a good thing, as long as everyone can stay healthy and avoid any kind of outbreak of this coronavirus plague. People are applauding it as a means of getting back to normal.

But, while school will be open, it is not going to be back to true normal. There will be new ways of learning that everyone will have to get used to. New protocols in place.

It will be a new normal, and it could be that way for quite a while. And that is true for all of us, whether we have kids in school or not.

Are you ready for some football?

The next big question, of course, is what about sports? Lots of people are asking that question.

With major league baseball and pro basketball and football all trying hard to get some sort of season going, colleges and high schools are now working hard on trying to figure out how or even if they can have their seasons start up this fall.

Granted, sports are certainly not as critical as education, but for some, it seems to be a very important part of getting some semblance of normalcy back.

Again, who is that masked man?

Part of our new normal is getting used to wearing masks everywhere we go, as I mentioned last week.

It appears to me that just about everyone is following the new law pretty well. Everyone is masked up when in stores, etc. Only a couple have not been.

Personally, I don’t mind it, and I wonder why mask wearing was not implemented long ago, back in March when this all started.

You can debate how much it helps, especially out here in rural Minnesota where the coronavirus is not as wide-spread, but on the other hand, if it keeps people a bit more safe, then why not?

It is a little inconvenience that we are going to have to get used to. Again, it is the new normal.

A right to be stupid?

I like to think that I am a pretty observant guy, especially since I?am a newspaper editor. I think I have been pretty aware of what is going on around me, the good, bad and ugly.

That is why I was a bit surprised to receive the letter to the editor this week from Susan Eisele about racism in Blue Earth and specifically a pickup truck driving around town with a confederate flag on it.

How did this woman in Iowa know about this truck and flag and I didn’t? I mean, I work in an office on Main Street and live in a house on Main Street and I had not seen such a thing.

But when I mentioned it to someone else, they said they, too, had seen this truck. On Main Street. With both a confederate and an American stars and stripes flag flying in the back end of the truck.

Then, of course, came letter No. 2 about the truck and flag and I guess it must be a common sight. Common except for this formerly observant editor.

Now, flying the confederate flag anywhere in this day and age seems to be a case of someone being provocative and trying to make a statement.The question is, what kind of statement does it make in Blue Earth and Elmore Minnesota?

We’d like to think a statement of hate and racism does not belong in our town. On the other hand, we also believe in the right of free speech, so there is once again a balancing act. Does a person have the right to say or do something offensive under the First Amendment? Does a person have a right to be stupid and say or do something the rest of us think is downright dumb?

One last thing

And one more random thought. It is now August and the year 2020 seems to be racing by.

On the one hand, it is a good thing. Most folks are tired of all that is going on or not going on in this non-normal and very strange year and are more than ready for a fresh start in the new year.

On the other hand, it seems to be going by too fast. Why is that?

The one good thing? With all the focus on COVID-19, there has been less talk about the election, which is about three months away. There have been very few political commercials and not much news coverage of rallies, debates or conventions.

It has been a fairly quiet election season. And that has been pretty nice.