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Your Coronavirus Shutdown Stories

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David K., Burnsville

“I haven’t worked in 6 weeks. I do repairs on restaurant equipment, who have extremely tight budgets. Even after they open it will be weeks before they are able to order repairs.

The unemployment application is so convoluted, I screwed it up and the state office is so overwhelmed with calls, I’m unable to contact anyone to fix it. Likewise, the federal stimulus account shows ‘unable to retrieve your information’ and there’s no recourse.”

Nicole B., Elk River

“I love my jobs. I own two small businesses. One is a tattoo shop and one is a mental health clinic.

My tattoo shop was ordered to shut down March 18, 2020 because of COVID. My thriving functional business that gives back to the community was just told to stop. No consideration to the precautions we were already taking before big brother waved his wand and ordered us to close.

This experience has been awful. We don’t know if we can make it through. The SBA loans are a joke. Nothing has come through. No unemployment. Nothing. Just quit working and the government doesn’t care.

Yet my other business is essential. I can see clients one on one there. Just like I do in my tattoo shop. Puzzling. Isn’t it?”

Christy K., Robbinsdale

“This has been difficult. I am a single person that lives alone, each day that we remain at home brings more and more fear for the economy. Each day is a deeper dive into despair and depression.

As a recovering alcoholic, this has been especially tough. In my program of recovery, isolating is one of our biggest downfalls, and here we have been forced into isolation for weeks. It’s difficult. It’s just me and the cat, and quite frankly, the cat has had enough of me.

I generally attend three to four recovery meetings per week, I go to church each Sunday, I visit with friends and family every weekend. As of today, I have not had a hug, not any physical contact in any form, since March 14, 2020. Nothing! I cannot blend households so, for me, even going on walk with people outside of my household is forbidden.

I am in a near constant state of sadness. I have found myself just sitting on the couch and waiting until bed time. Just waiting until this is all over. I can’t read a book, watch a television show, or engage in a hobby. All I do is wait.”

Daniel S., Eden Prairie

“I’m in the process of starting a non-profit legal clinic. I sent the registration paperwork in early March, and the state already cashed my check, but I am not able to start working until the county office completes the registration paperwork. The government buildings are closed, so I am not able to get my business license or a replacement state ID.

It would be helpful if the state allowed drive-through or remote video service for new or replacement license paperwork.”

Susan T., Saint Paul

“My mother has a tumor on her kidney (the size of a lime) that needs to be removed and is deemed an elective surgery. At some point it will be past the point of no return, so while you (state leaders) are occupied with saving lives from COVID-19, you are risking and taking the lives of others.

She is not alone in her medical battle – I’m more than certain – and when the time does come for the clinics and hospitals to reopen for surgeries, it will be backlogged. Most likely it could be 6 months from now until she gets her surgery. Will this 6 months cost my mother her life?

I’m a retired police officer and am very well aware of life and death situations along with priorities. I’m also very aware at a certain point time runs out and you are too late. If a child is drowning in a pool, 15 seconds or even 5 seconds can be the line between life and death. You are drawing these lines for thousands of people.

I worked the streets during H1N1 and was very aware of it. I was given PPE, filled out my immediate family list for vaccines so I could continue to work, I stripped down to nothing in my garage everyday after my shift and jumped into the shower before seeing my family, etc. That took 17,000 American lives. The purpose of the shutdown was to spread out the burden to the hospitals so we did not have people dying in the streets. It was to prepare and slow down the rush, not to never return until it’s gone. We need to do both, get back to work and be safe.

Don’t take my mother’s life and thousands of others trying to figure out how to guarantee people don’t get sick, because you can’t. We can do the best we can, but we are all responsible for our health. Let businesses protect their employees, customers and themselves.

We all have choices, but you are taking away my mother’s choice and thousands of others’ choices for proper healthcare.”

Anna F., Minneapolis

“The shutdown closed the restaurant I worked at. I’m a bartender, and our restaurant made most money at the bar, so opening up for takeout couldn’t help me or the business I worked at.

I lost my job and now have run through my entire life savings. I’m now facing eviction because I can’t pay my rent or bills. I’m considering declaring bankruptcy right now to try and stop all these bills. The shutdown basically destroyed my entire life.”

Bonnie G., Eden Prairie

“Both my husband and I are in commissioned sales. Many of our customers have been furloughed or laid off as non-essential even though many of mine are in the medical profession. Go figure. Business is way down, which means major income hits. My husband’s company just furloughed 50% of his division, and they expect revenue worldwide to be down 50%. This is a $10 billion company!

It is becoming abundantly clear those in power are using COVID19 to infringe on our liberties in very serious ways. Living involves risk everyday – I have never expected the government to tell me if it’s ‘safe’ for me to work.

I have a sister in an assisted living facility in rural MN who has not been allowed to go outside for fresh air for almost 6 weeks out of fear she will catch it from the air. Depression is real for her.

I also have two college graduates who will be graduating from our dining room table this spring. They go to SD and ND universities – very low COVID states – but everybody panicked and closed the colleges almost immediately.

Since we are ‘all in this together’ Gov. Walz should be transparent about the modeling he continues to use which is pushing our ‘peak’ into July. Also, we should not allow peacetime or executive powers to require ‘proof’ of immunity to go back to work or mess with our election laws. All the ideas they are floating are a real threat to our liberty.”

Tom P., Andover

“It began for me in January. On the 30th, I had open heart surgery to remove a tumor (it was benign, thankfully). I was home on FMLA for 7 weeks and was set to return to work during the week of March 22nd. Unfortunately, we then entered lockdown.

I have now been home, mostly alone, for over 10 weeks. I am 59 years old with adult children and little grandchildren that I cannot see.

My cell phone started breaking down in late March. If someone calls me, my phone doesn’t ring—they go right to voicemail. If they choose not to leave a message, I have no knowledge of the call. Medical people have tried to call, but it’s been difficult. I can’t go into a store, because we are locked down; it’s all online only. I sit here with a barely functioning phone, unable to see people, going on week 11.

I think it’s time we loosen up! Get back to how this country was supposed to be, for all of our sakes—not just mine.”