Gene Johnson

STATE AND LOCAL governments are beginning to look at ways to help and protect local business. They are finding ways to provide information to the consumer via the local newspaper and websites, which in turn helps the newspaper survive with advertising. We have seen some larger companies buy full pages allowing small businesses in the community to get a small ad promoting their goods and services. This is a little unusual, but they are conscious of supporting good local communication and journalism. Our subscriptions have increased. We even received some extraordinary subscription support for journalism. It’s all very much appreciated during this time when so many businesses are closed or have decreased revenue. Grocery stores, lumber yards, hardware, liquor stores and real estate are doing quite well, but some of them who are doing well have even ceased their advertising program.

RESTAURANTS HAVE HAD it tough with limited seating inside and in many cases the consumer has not wanted to go inside for dining, thereby limiting sales for the eateries. Ultimately there will be a pent-up demand for goods and services when the virus is controlled and that could be months away. Many of the big box stores are coming through fine, but the mom and pop stores are at risk. Do what you can to support your local businesses.

MY WIFE KATHY’S 77 year old gallbladder acted up last month and we first thought it might be a heart attack. We appreciated our local EMTs for their promptness, quick examination, courtesy and experience.

After a one-way trip to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, she waited in line for an operating room. A couple of days later with laparoscopic surgery, her non-warrantied gallbladder was removed with four small glued up incisions. She is well underway to recovery.

In Minnesota and Wisconsin we have some great medical teams and hospitals with the latest technology.

This is just another benefit of high-tech states like Minnesota and Wisconsin.

WHEN YOU LOOK to the classified pages of this newspaper and see more help wanted ads, you know the economy is on its way to recovery. On the other hand, you have to mix it with national statistics that indicate one in five small businesses will not survive during this pandemic. More and more consumers are recognizing this and making their buying decisions with hometown businesses whenever possible. Support them so they will be there when you need them.

OVER THE YEARS public television has provided pre-school education through Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and other programs. I wonder if there is a place for public television to assist public and private schools in their programming now that so many children are at home during the week. There could be some national standards for various grade levels that could enhance learning in this very upsetting time. I think without a doubt there are more televisions in homes across the country than there are computers per household.

IN THE BUSINESS community, webinars are very popular and effective and now we are doing a lot of Zoom meetings in lieu of in person meetings. Our technology is advancing rapidly. We just have to learn how to use it in effective ways.

GOD’S WORD IN Timothy 6 tells us to flee from distractions. If you consider social media, which is pretty much gossip, as a distraction, then watch the hours that you are in front of the screen per day or per week. Is that what we call healthy living? Also check on how many times a day you reach for the cell phone. It just seems to be taking over our life. As parents we need to guide our children in disciplines like this. Remember, the best way to teach is by example.