May 16, 2021

Minnesota Ends The Mask Mandate


Minnesota Ends The Mask Mandate
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for May 16, 2021

On Friday, Minnesota Governor Walz ended the state's mask mandate.  We thought for sure it would take a few weeks for businesses to start honoring it so we were surprised when we arrived at Lucky's 13 in Burnsville and the hostess told us we no longer needed to wear them to walk to our tables.  It was kind of a bizarre feeling.

It was especially strange seeing the full faces of the waitresses and bar staff who were serving us.  This gentleman was happy to smile for my photo and it felt really good to be back to normal again.

Well, I guess not completely back to normal.  We walked around Burnsville Mall after we were done eating and that was pretty depressing.  It was our first visit to the mall since the pandemic began and we were shocked to discover that a majority of the stores were completely shut down.  I knew retail was hit hard, but seeing the mall I've been coming to since I was a child with 75% of the stores no longer there was kind of sad.  Hopefully, people will be able to fill the vacancies with new businesses soon.

On Saturday, Luke & Avery had a couple friends over for a boat ride.  It was 70 degrees outside so we figured the lake would be full of boaters ready to be party, but traffic was actually pretty light.  People must still be going into stores without masks on just to see what that feels like again.

The more likely explanation is the water is still really cold.  We bought a new lily pad this year which we were dying to try out, but dang that water was chilly!  It's hard to stay dry on that mat especially with my big ole belly.

Avery is trying to take away captain responsibilities from me full time, so I keep putting him through challenging situations to prove his worth.  Like driving under this low clearance bridge which he cleared like a champ.  Next time I'm leaving the plug out of the boat to see how he handles things when it starts sinking.  That'll learn him.

We did make him drive us over to Bird Island to get our bird watching fix.  We need to keep at least some of our boating traditions intact.

I am 50 years old and just learned this week that there’s actually a bird called a Baltimore Oriole.  I always thought that was just the name of a baseball team.  Now I gotta go look up what an Arizona Cardinal looks like.

We saw the oriole on one of our feeders a week ago.  Miss Sheri heard that if you put orange slices out for them, they'll become regular visitors.  She heard right because they've been stopping by daily get to their juice fix.

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