March 4, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Love Thy Neighbor, Get Tested For COVID-19


I am going to address the ‘elephant in the room’ about getting tested and wearing masks for COVID-19. I don’t think I would enjoy the testing, I don’t like wearing masks, and don’t like being forced by regulations to do both of these things. However, I will do them just in case they will help keep someone else from getting sick or dying. 

After staying very low in case numbers in our county, we have now jumped to one of the ‘hot spots’ in the state. The number of positive cases is increasing dramatically and to add fuel to the fire, we know that a lot of people are not being tested. Some of these same people are also refusing to wear masks in public places. 

I have read the letters and facebook posts against the masks and taken it to heart. However, my question is ‘why not do it if you can possibly save a life?’ It just makes no sense to me for people to say they love their neighbor and then refuse to do something so simply as to protect them from a contagious disease. 

I have gone into local establishments and seen people without masks. I have attended a church service where some are not wearing a mask. I know that some people have health concerns but I have asthma and I can still manage to wear one without much trouble. The biggest issue I have is that they fog up my glasses. This is a tiny price to pay to protect others. 

None of us really knows from day to day if we are a carrier of the disease. We might not even have symptoms but could be spreading it without knowing it. And above all, if someone in your household or that you have been in contact with, does have it, don’t go out in public. 

I have worked with a couple people who have gone through testing because they had some symptoms. It is hard to wait to find out the results for both them and those around them. You really have to stop and think about what you are doing and where you are going during that time. Sometimes you just have to put things off until you learn the results. Fortunately, both of my co-workers tested negative but I was glad I still took precautions. 

I am not just asking readers but begging you to protect yourself and others. If you have symptoms, get tested because those numbers are very important to the plan for protecting some of our most vulnerable individuals. These numbers determine the opening of schools and nursing homes. We absolutely don’t want our schools to open with a widespread outbreak. We also don’t want the nursing homes to loosen regulations because test numbers are down. It is vital to know what is going on in our county and take steps to protect everyone.

Katie Erdman