This quarantine, or “safe at home” stint our state is going through is scary, crazy, and makes me feel as if I am in a movie. A movie that has yet to have an ending.

Do you remember learning how to write a story in junior high English class? It begins with the hook, then the introduction, followed by the climb to the exciting climax of the story and then the fall or ending.

Whether we like it or not, we have been hooked and introduced to the reason everyone stays home. Currently we are in the climb – the foggy, unknown rise to a climax yet to be seen and a finish much in question.

In Lanesboro, tucked away in the southeastern corner of Minnesota, most everyone is taking the suggested protective and preventive measures to avoid spreading the disease marching across the world.

Not all of us are able to close our doors and hibernate, and through this I am seeing people who are considered to be in “everyday” jobs emerge as heroes in our community.

First and foremost, let’s start with the nurses and medical staff. It appears they do not have an option to not go to work, and they are needed badly to show up and do what they do to take care of the sick. Thank you for putting yourself at risk to help others, and not just because you have to.

Who takes care of the healthcare workers’ children? Down here the daycare has remained open to take in the children of those who need to go to work. My daughter, Lindsey, and all the daycare staff go to work with the fear of exposure, yet they continue to provide the stellar care needed to keep their parent’s minds at ease just a little bit.

Four days ago, I found it necessary to make a trip to the Dollar Store. A tiny, elderly woman swung the door open and held it for me, exclaiming, “They have toilet paper!” Right now, we live in a world where having toilet paper is exciting! That toilet paper, and other supplies, did not magically appear in the store. There are truck drivers tirelessly driving supplies all across America. Their jobs providing stores with fruits, vegetables, paper products, etc. have not slowed down.

The people who work from home who are accustomed to sending their children off to school with a smile and a wave all of a sudden have one or more children needing attention. In my case, it is three elementary-age children, a high schooler, and a college student. I have had years of experience working from home, and I promise, you will find what works best for juggling work and children.

Then there is the staff at the school. I cannot imagine what their work life has been like as of late. All of a sudden, online learning for all students is a thing. Most teachers have not experienced setting up online learning nor have they taught in this mode. Their heads have to be spinning as they start to roll out their lesson plans to parents (that’s what I imagine anyway).

Emails are sent out daily from the office staff, giving us the latest updates, schedules, and details. Down here, Aimee and Denise have been working tirelessly alongside the teachers to make sure it all goes smoothly, and at the same time preparing lunches, delivering them curbside to parents, and handling all the requests we “crazy” parents may have.

These people are the unsung heroes that come top-of-mind. There are many more out there helping during these movie-like times. To them, thank you. You are appreciated.

Kristen Asleson is owner of Midwest Virtual Assistants. Send comments and ideas to

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