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Our opinion: Keep moving forward

Slowly but surely we’re finding our way back to what we find familiar.

Gov. Tim Walz’s announcement recently, that COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted, is the welcome turn we’ve all been waiting for and boosted by the fact that the mask mandate could be lifted sooner than later provided we reach a vaccination of 70% in the state, unless we get to July 1 when the restrictions will end regardless.

While this is certainly uplifting news, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re out of the woods. Health experts are warning that a full recovery may be as far away as 2022 and there are still questions including how long the vaccines might last and will booster shots be necessary?

At the same time it’s important that we don’t overlook the positivity that is slowly bringing light back to the state.

It’s been a long road since we started traveling the pandemic wilderness in March of last year. It’s tested our will and has tested our patience. It’s tested our ability to relate to others and our faith in our leaders.

In short it’s tested our society that in many ways just wasn’t prepared for and was further complicated by civil unrest, mass shootings and so many other things churning in the background.

These are surely challenges that will continue to be on the forefront of our minds, but for the time being we should sit back and take a much needed breath. We, as a society, have shown an amazing resilience. It hasn’t been a bed of roses by any stretch, but we have weathered the storm to a point where the sun is finally starting to peak out from behind the clouds, promising better days.

With this sunshine it’s time to start looking at how we as a society can start making the changes that continue pushing us toward positive growth as a species. We must confront racism, violence and climate change and we must do it in a manner that includes leaders actually leading and humans actually talking rather than pointing fingers in the face of others. It’s time to listen and speak rationally and we can do this by standing with the momentum we’ve built off the pandemic to move forward.

We will never be a society without flaws, but it is time to be a better. COVID-19 has shown us that we meet challenges and we overcame them, but it’s also revealed cracks that must be mended. Why not apply that resilience then to our other challenges?

It’s a question to begin pondering right now.