From: Chuck Ripley


I’m a pretty open guy, and I try to accept that people have different interests that I don’t understand.

But I have a hard time wrapping my brain around those members of the Winona City Council who really like COVID-19.

I just find that weird. Maybe they just want to see how high the COVID numbers can go. I mean, we already have more cases than we did last year at this time, and we haven’t even seen the full impact from the local colleges, Cotter, and WAPS yet.

I know it was cool when Winona reached the top 10 hot spots in the nation last year, but there’s got to be a better way to put Winona on the map. Or maybe the City Council members see how bad things are in the South, and they want to see if we can do that here? We’ve already done a good job in Minnesota of beating out Mississippi and Alabama in terms of race disparities, so maybe they’re a little jealous of Florida, Texas, and Louisiana on the COVID front, too. Maybe they find people who yell and are rude very persuasive? Some people like loud arguments. Maybe they’re sick of doing their jobs, since every argument they offered against the mask mandate could be put forward about every other area that they have jurisdiction over?

Or it’s probably that they experience great pleasure when people, like my mother-in-law in Tennessee, have to go to the emergency room for kidney trouble and have to wait 10 hours to see a doctor because of COVID patients. Or when my sister or niece who are nurses come home exhausted, not knowing what to do. I mean, I don’t like that kind of stuff myself, but I care for people like them more than the City Council evidently does. Of course, they probably just want the virus to keep on mutating until vaccines no longer work. After all, council member Steve Young says the virus will be with us forever so we might as well all get used to it. Doesn’t anyone else find that a strange thing to make peace with in a little over a year and a half? I mean, we’ve eradicated a ton of diseases that were around a heck of a lot longer than 17 months. But we’re just let COVID win? Huh. Definitely not the decision I’d make. We have safe vaccines for COVID that work. We know if enough people got vaccinated, we could create herd immunity. We know that masks and social distancing slow down the spread among the unvaccinated and the vaccinated people who have breakthrough cases. So we can kill COVID and get back to normal, if we want. But I guess some people don’t want to.