The State of the Quarantine

I am not a health expert. I am an economic policy person. In cases where health care is concerned, I defer to experts. I am fortunate to live in a state with a world class health care system, which includes clinics, hospitals, and medical research facilities. The University of Minnesota Medical Research division wields a strong international presence, due to its robust history of research outcomes. Its counterpart is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which again, has long commanded a great deal of respect among its global counterparts. Perhaps most fortunately, our state government has had a legacy of following the guidance provided by these research engines.

I have to assume that due to their proximity, these beacons of knowledge impart a certain level of seriousness and respect among the populations that surround them. Aside from the present circumstances, this has been a historical thread running through Minnesota. Let me explain.

From the Iron Range to International Falls, to Winona and Rochester, Minnesota has long been a blend between many degrees of urbanization. We are a state which mediated the tension between urban and rural through the “Minnesota Miracle”. Our consensus among Minnesotans has been that the city folk rely on the rural folk, and vice-versa. In joint understanding, we have created a model of training and education envied by the rest of the country and the world: the state university system. This is a system that feeds back into, and fortifies both the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota communities.

I am incredibly proud to live in a state which takes education and training seriously, and at the same time does not disparage those who chose career paths which do not require a four year degree or technical education. One common theme binds us here: work ethic. There is a real, obvious acknowledgement of work ethic and care of duty here. Workers, of whatever profession, are recognized among their fellow statesmen for their dedication to their duty, their work ethic, and their willingness to see the job done well. This acknowledgement occurs regardless of how much a person makes, or what position they inhabit. This common ethic drives us through the winter and makes us an industrial and commercial powerhouse. The saying here is:

“Whether the job, big or small, do it right, or not at all”.

This returns me to the present. Our national environment is pulling us apart at the seams. We are rent between democrat and republican, between liberal and conservative. In the void of this divide, our greatest strength, our work ethic and shared values, is ignored. Our acknowledgement that the hardest working and most committed deserve our respect has been lost to partisan bickering. This is not Minnesota, nor should it be.

We have an incredibly sophisticated complex of medical research and academic research at our disposal. Our state government can leverage these assets in order to make the best decisions possible in the time of Covid-19.

As Americans, our duty is to question our government, to provide oversight and transparency; to demand better for ourselves and our family. That is our birthright. As Minnesotans, our duty is to our neighbor, our schools, and our city. We meet our challenges by working harder and longer than others, by reasoning our way through. We have an opportunity to show the country, as we always have, why we function more efficiently, deliver better results to more people, and overcome obstacles through hard work.

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