Minnesota Burning–Part 1

 

Back in March, when I learned about the pandemic’s potential severity, I could not sleep.  Something was coming.  Something I could not control or understand.  I panicked. That morning, I instructed my wife to shop.  I told her to stock up on canned goods.  I explained that no one was going to risk their life for a part-time cashier job.  She hurried to the store as I made the kids breakfast.  When she got back with all those sacks of groceries, I left to deliver the mail.

In the days and weeks that followed, I struggled with my own fear.  I beat myself up for panicking.  I saw myself as weak and manipulated.  I became angry at the restrictions, at the loss of life.  I blamed the Chinese government for hiding the truth.  I blamed Trump for gutting our federal bureaucracies and letting it happen.  I blamed the DNC for propping up Joe Biden—a man over the Hill and out of touch—as his successor.  It all seemed like some national form of gaslighting.  But I went along with it.  I did what I was told.

Just as things were returning to normal…

I never thought Minneapolis would become the epicenter of a national disaster.  The murder of George Floyd has sickened, enraged and saddened our entire country. The corona virus, at this point, feels like a hypothetical and laughable threat compared to the carnage surrounding me.  I live in a war zone, an occupied city overtaken by looting and riots.  Lake Street looks like Syria.  Yesterday, as the curfew approached, travel in and out of the Metro was closed.  As I write this, my family is not with me.  They made it out.  I sent them home to stay with their grandparents in Sioux Falls.  It is the first morning in days when I’ve stepped onto my deck and not smelled smoke.  Not seen black plumes rising into the sky over the trees.  Not heard sirens and helicopters.  It is sunny and the birds are chirping.  We have peace, at least temporarily, but no justice.

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