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Letter: Trading off the future for today is shortsighted

I’ve been worried for my town for a while now. Before COVID this was a neglected town, unpopular in the region. This has always frustrated and bewildered me because we have a great downtown, five lakes and two interstate freeways. We should be a prosperous and growing city. But I think I’m beginning to understand what is holding us back.

Recent developments in the business community of Albert Lea have compelled me to write on behalf of all the American citizens and business owners who can follow a health directive from our elected government.

Lisa Hanson and her ignorant entourage are an embarrassment to this town and worse, a real danger. Under the guise of being “patriotic” she is using her downtown business to leverage support for radical disobedience to government-mandated health directives meant to save lives and stop the spread of a terrible virus that has hurt so many.

I have personal experience with this virus. I’m what is called a “long hauler.” I was infected early at a political rally. A close acquaintance who was also infected died. I can assure you it is real and an imminent threat, but if we all wore masks and stayed apart for even two weeks it would be gone. Other countries have done far better than we are doing. Other democracies that value individual freedom as we do, have come together to bring down the numbers significantly, where we have failed.

Why has it been so hard for us to work together? I have some ideas. First, the idea that we are somehow a superior race of people or the concept of “American exceptionalism,” which has done more harm than good. Even more prevalent is pure selfishness. The Hansons are not even hurting for cash. They received $40,000 from the same government that they are now disobeying in small business COVID relief.

Everything I do has been impacted by the shut down. It has been a difficult year. I know many people who have been impacted even worse than me. Trading off the future for today is shortsighted and ridiculously naive.The idea of achieving herd immunity (letting the virus move through the population unchecked) is both cruel and stupid. I would like it to be known that some of us are promoting the safe and ethical directives from our state’s leaders at great financial cost to ourselves because we care about our fellow Americans, and it is our patriotic duty.

I’m not sure what country Lisa is a patriot of, but it’s not this one. Either she’s a victim of Russian psyops or she’s just another unfettered extremist given a platform by a bored, little town that has given up enough not to care about the consequences to human life.

Susanne Crane

Albert Lea