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Turns out, the world is crazy after all

after deadline with brian todd logo
after deadline with brian todd logo

It's a crazy world out there. 

How do I know this? Well, in college I briefly waited tables at a hotel restaurant in downtown Omaha. One of the regular customers, a man I'm pretty sure wasn't all there, would tell me so every time I waited on him. 

Literally. As I approached his table, he'd look up at me and say, unbidden, "Crazy old world out there, that's what I always say. Crazy old world. Hee, hee, hee."

That's a direct quote. Verbatim, including the forced laugh at the end. He said that every single time he came to the restaurant. That was "Hello" for this guy. 

Anyway, I used to think he was a little nuts. Now, I think he was a sage before his time. 

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Slow Boat From Hawaii

A former member of my church contacted me over the weekend – two weekends ago – with the tip that he knew some regional residents who were stuck on the cruise ship that was floating off the California coast. Best of all, he had contact information.

Eventually, I got in touch with Tim Kwosek , who along with his wife, Marie, was on a boat slowly making its way to the Port of Oakland with at least 20 people on that boat who'd been diagnosed with COVID-19. We exchanged a few emails full of questions and answers.

I learned enough to tell the story about what the Kwoseks' life aboard the ship was like. I also learned they'd be sent to a military base for a 14-day quarantine. 

But the big thing, for me, was learning that the Coronavirus was impacting Minnesotans. This was before a single case of the virus had been confirmed in Southeast Minnesota. 

Yep, the world is crazy. 

The Financial Cost 

That story ran last week, less than 10 days ago. Since then, we've seen a lot more suffering due to the Coronovirus, and you don't need symptoms to suffer. 

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Tuesday, I stopped by the Eagle Valley Café in Wabasha. They'll be open for carry-out orders, but otherwise it's far from business as usual. While there, I met Hailee Prigge, a waitress at the diner who is either very pregnant or carrying a basketball under her shirt, who talked about the slowdown of customers due to the virus. 

That slowdown had been coming long before Gov. Tim Walz closed all dine-in restaurants and bars . Hailee has certainly lost some money due to the virus. She is one of many. 

The Human Costs

Money isn't the only thing we're losing due to the virus. Social distancing means staying away from other people, and that can be hard for some. At the Todd house, where I work from for the most part, I've got two daughters who have no school to occupy them. 

But it's more than school. Churches are scaling back on services and religious programs. There are no libraries where they can check out books ... which means Barnes & Noble online or Amazon is about to get more of my money. 

One of the side effects of closing the libraries, though, is the impact on the homeless. Little-known fact: Libraries are a warm place in many cities where homeless people can peacefully spend their days after they have to leave the shelter where they slept at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m. or whenever the place with the beds requires them to leave once the sun comes up.

My New Dress Code

For the duration of the pandemic, I'm working from home. The Grand Poobahs at Forum Communications have decided, wisely, that not everyone should work in the office, and some should just work remotely until further notice. I'm one of those folks for the Post Bulletin. 

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I still go to board and council meetings, if those meetings are being held. And I still go to visit people I need to interview, if a phone call won't do the trick. But otherwise it's just me in a pair of sweats and a T-shirt on a laptop with my phone while I sit on the sofa. 

But I think, for a while, more and more, we'll all be living at a distance from one another while we connect, for the most part, virtually. 

In the meantime, make sure you've got your Post Bulletin login and password. It's a crazy old world out there, and we're doing the best we can to keep you informed. 

After Deadline Social Distance

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Practicing my social distancing as I work from home. I miss my hard-working colleagues, but the chair is more comfortable.

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