Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

To you, our readers.

At this time of year we would be remiss if we did not take some time out to thank you, our readers.

Whether you get your news in the print format, through our E-edition or through our website, we appreciate you and are grateful you allow us to bring you the news of our community.

Thank you for allowing us into your lives in times of happiness and togetherness, but also in times of tragedy and division. We appreciate you placing your trust in us to tell your stories, and we hope that by doing so, we can shed light on important issues in our community.

We thank you also for trusting us as a news source and for supporting local journalism. In an age of rampant information from all types of sources, having a news source you can trust continues to be critical.

We also thank those who keep us aware of issues and events happening in their own local circles and who help us document our community’s history.

We couldn’t do it without you.

To the third COVID-19 death in less than a week in Freeborn County.

More than 20 months since the beginning of the pandemic, we are saddened to see there have been three new COVID-19 deaths in Freeborn County in the last week, as well as a handful of deaths in neighboring counties.

Freeborn County has now had 46 people who have died from COVID since the start of the pandemic.

As we have done in the past, we encourage people to continue to be diligent in basic health measures, including washing your hands, social distancing and wearing masks.

Remember we are all in this together, and our vulnerable friends, family and neighbors depend on our help.

To impaired drivers.

Troopers, deputies and police officers across the state will be participating in a statewide campaign through New Year’s Eve looking for drivers who appear impaired, whether by alcohol or other substances.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, alcohol, cold medicine, prescription medication or any other drug can contribute to impairment.

The state agency says more than one of every five deaths (21 percent) on Minnesota roads is drunk driving-related, and there were 397 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Minnesota in the last five years, with 79 people killed in 2020 alone.

An average of 384 life-changing injuries (2016-2020) are caused by alcohol-related crashes each year, and drugged driving incidents accounted for 6,269 incidents from 2011-2015 compared with 12,883 from 2016-2020.

We remind people of the importance of not getting behind the wheel if you are intoxicated by any of these substances.

It could be a matter of life and death.

Thank you to local authorities for this extra enforcement in an effort to help keep our roads safe.