Over the years I would rag on different issues like keeping the countertops clean at home. These days it’s how to stay clear of the coronavirus and how to keep our newspapers running with this fear and businesses closed.

Small business is really facing challenges these days with the required stay-at-home policies. Some of the larger box stores that handle multiple lines of goods have been able to stay open while many of the mom and pop stores have been forced to stay closed.

The question going around politically is whether people should be left to make up their own minds about their own safety rather than have government make that decision for them. Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, was overruled by the Supreme Court in Wisconsin.

I recently visited Mayo Clinic, which I do every four months to keep my PSA in control. It’s affected by some cancer cells in lymph nodes that resulted in a prostatectomy more than a decade ago. I am fortunate to have Dr. Eugene Kwon, immunologist at Mayo, who is also credited with the development of the Choline PET scan, a nuclear medicine used to detect live cancer cells in the body.

In my visit with Dr. Kwon we discussed COVID-19 at some length. He said we had two choices. Number one, we need to develop a vaccine very quickly and distribute 350 million vials across the nation. 

When the swine flu occurred, a vaccine was developed quickly.

The other solution is to let natural immunity take over. The older population is more vulnerable than the younger population. 

The best solution would be to get the vaccine developed.

The bottom line to me is that we are all going to be wearing masks at our work, in public and whenever we are around other people for an indefinite period of time. The best prevention seems to be keeping six feet of distance between ourselves and other people and washing hands frequently.

By the way, my tests at Mayo came in favorable. Scans showed that cancer cells that were in my lymph nodes did not change in size.

There is a lot of ingenuity and creativity at work during this pandemic. 

The other evening I was driving by Acqua restaurant in White Bear Lake and I noticed a pick-up truck with a table and two people sitting in it having their takeout dinner. They had a table cloth and dishes to make for a beautiful dinner setting. The temperature was not much over 60, but this couple from enjoyed dinner overlooking the lake.

The Zoom app on our personal computer is getting used more and more in regular contacts with family, friends and business conference calls and meetings. We have planned to meet with family once a week and every other week with a group of newspaper friends. A great way to stay in touch.

So this, too, will pass. We will slowly come back to a new normal and wearing masks may be a way of life.


Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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