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Our opinion: The right decision

It certainly couldn’t have been an easy decision, but at the end of day the Mower County Fair Board’s move to cancel this year’s Mower County Fair was the right one.

One simply has to look at the numbers, both statewide and in the country, on Tuesday, when it was announced, to understand the danger posed should they have gone through with it.

Minnesota: 403 new cases, six deaths

United States: 61,834 new cases, 787 deaths

Locally, Mower has seen a big drop in numbers with reports in the single digits for nearly three weeks, but look closer at the state in general, as well as the nation, and you see the danger posed by complacency.

Florida, California and Arizona all opened early with very little in the place of precautions and now they are having to look at shutting states down again as numbers skyrocket there and across the south.

It was reported Wednesday that in Florida, over 50 hospitals have no more ICU hospital beds for critical patients, a concern Arizona is also preparing for. Nationwide, only a very few states at any one time are experiencing any kind of decline in numbers.

Holding the fair would have been a beacon to the rest of the state, risking an influx of people coming to town and possibly damaging the gains the county has made so far. The risk of importing cases would have been substantial.

At the same time, it most assuredly should not be overlooked that fewer and fewer cases are being reported in Mower.

Local officials and businesses have been working hard to do their part in lowering numbers and it appears Mower’s citizens are seeing the benefits of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Now, as Mower’s schools begin looking at a possibility of welcoming students back to classrooms, is not the time to let up on those steps that have helped to reduce numbers.

Remember, it wasn’t so long ago when numbers were going down and suddenly Mower was shocked with a spike of its own that led to state officials, working with local officials, to set up a two-day free testing at the fairgrounds.

This pandemic has proven over and over again that it can take advantage of said complacency and it’s proving it now.

We commend the work the Fair Board put in to try and have some version of the fair. That should not be overlooked. Each year, the board puts on a show that keeps people coming back again and again to relive memories and create new ones.

We lament the absence of the fair, as do those 4-Hers that will miss out on their valuable experiences and the mini-donuts that will go uneaten by thousands of visitors.

We want the fair and we want students back in classrooms, but we must continue to learn from the examples in front of us to keep Mower and Minnesota on track.