When I read the front page article about the Park Rapids Council pondering a resolution challenging the governor’s efforts to keep citizens safe and alive, slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect the modest health care facilities in rural Minnesota from being overwhelmed, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Instead of doing either, I am going to write a thank you message to the governor and his public health and economic team for taking prompt emergency action on behalf of us all. To date, no doctors, nurses, teachers, law enforcement, civil servants or other essential personnel in the region have been put at unnecessary risk or died. Instead, area residents have learned what social distancing means; we have learned about protective measures for ourselves and those we are responsible for, and many of us have learned to be very, very grateful for all of the people who have to go out to work every day despite the risks that come with a pandemic.

Make no mistake, rural Minnesota and its citizens will not get through this situation unscathed, but thanks to the foresight of state and local leaders who respect and understand medical science, we will be better able to make informed choices about our personal behavior and the impact of our behavior on others with whom we share this place we all call home.