Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From southern Minnesota: Signs of the times March 19, 2020

Posted in the window of Keepers Antiques, downtown Faribault, Minnesota.

 

LIFE FEELS ALMOST SURREAL. Like we’re living in a science fiction film. Or a horror movie.

 

The Paradise Center for the Arts in downtown Faribault is closed until April (or longer). Messages like “STAY HEALTHY” mark the PCA marquee.

 

Each day brings more bad news as COVID-19 spreads and more restrictions are put in place. The anxiety is almost palpable. No matter where we live—from rural to suburban to urban—we are affected.

 

Posted on the door of the local American Legion, which serves food and beverages and is also an event center.

 

Tuesday evening, on the day the Governor of Minnesota ordered all bars and restaurants and other social gathering places like bowling alleys, theaters and museums to close by 5 pm, I grabbed my camera to document this order. In signs posted in my southern Minnesota community.

 

Posted at Bluebird Cakery.

 

Most messages are simple. But the sign displayed in the window of Bluebird Cakery carries an emotional tone, beginning with these words: To our beloved Faribault community and employees…

 

Bluerbird Cakery is a popular gathering spot in the heart of downtown Faribault.

 

Beloved. That’s such a powerful heart-touching word, especially in these difficult times.

 

A helpful reminder posted on the Paradise Center for the Arts marquee.

 

If we can all remember that we are beloved to one another, then we will have brought something beautiful out of this crisis. That is my hope. That we will care more deeply for one another. That we will grow in compassion and love. That we appreciate and value one another more. That we can rise above that which separates us to that which brings us together. And for now, together means standing unified in our efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

 

Our local library closed on Monday.

 

PLEASE FEEL FREE to share in the comments section specifics on what’s happening in your part of the world as it relates to COVID-19.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling