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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To Albert Lean Gilbert Johnson.

Gilbert Johnson, owner and operator of The Chapel Comics and Collectibles Shoppe, has again stepped up to the plate to help the community.

Johnson has implemented what he calls a “hope cabinet,” in front of his business on Broadway in Albert Lea.

The cabinet is filled with a variety of canned goods, including fruits, vegetables and soups, pastas, bread and tortillas, among a range of other things. Anyone is welcome to come and take what they need from the cabinet. People can also donate to the cabinet by leaving products inside.

On top of being able to donate food directly into the cabinet, Johnson set up a fundraiser on his Facebook page for people to donate money that will go toward keeping the cabinet stocked.

Donations could go toward creating a second cabinet at a separate location.

We thank Johnson for doing what he can to help the community and for all of the people who are supporting it by donating to the cause.


To Freeborn County’s first cases of COVID-19.

Freeborn County went a long time without any confirmed COVID-19 cases, but it appears the inevitable happened this week, when the Minnesota Department of Health and Freeborn County Public Health Department announced the county had its first cases of the virus.

The individuals with the confirmed cases ranged in age from 20s to 70s as of Thursday.

We urge the community to follow Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order and stay home if at all possible to reduce the spread of the virus.

We also encourage residents to adhere to the health guidelines suggested by state and local health officials, such as washing your hands often and thoroughly, covering your coughs and sneezes, staying home when you are are sick, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and maintaining social distancing of six feet.

Though it has not been announced how the affected Freeborn County residents were first exposed to COVID-19, it is clear from state data that community transmission is taking place on almost one-third of cases, and everyone must do what they can to reduce that risk for others.


To Albert Lea’s first responders and health care workers.

Thank you to Albert Lea’s EMTs, firefighters, police officers and hospital workers, who are putting their own health on the line each day to respond to medical calls that could include the threat of COVID-19.

Though these individuals have certain procedures in place to protect themselves from exposure if suspected cases arise, they are still doing what most others would be hesitant to do — and all out of a simple desire to help the community.

We thank them for their dedication to their jobs and to doing what they can for the community.

The efforts do not go unnoticed.