A distance memory

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has exerted close control over our lives since March 25, when he declared the statewide shutdown to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Governor Walz continues his rule by decree in minute detail as he slowly turns the “dials” affecting our daily activities. According to Walz, it’s a matter of life and death.

Churches, salons, barbershops, restaurants, other retail establishments remain subject to Walz mandates that include regulation of capacity, social distancing, and so on. Minnesotans subject to these mandates might have been puzzled by the memorial service yesterday for George Floyd attended by Governor Walz himself as well as other eminences including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and others. Walz appears to have suspended the mandates for the Floyd memorial service at North Central University in downtown Minneapolis yesterday. He must tossed his mandates right out the window for the occasion:

A reader wrote from a beautiful part of Minnesota nestled in between the Minnesota River Valley on the east and the Coteau des Prairies on the west. Forwarding the two screenshots immediately above, he noted:

I’m a pastor in rural Minnesota.

We’ve been told that we can only have 25 percnet capacity. We’ve been told that we have to keep everyone sis feet apart.

But this was a real head-scratcher.

Indeed it was, as a Minneapolis attorney friend also pointed also out:

Here’s a question I haven’t seen asked yet:

Why did the mourners for Mr. Floyd get to have a traditional, closely-packed, non-socially-distanced, very moving, memorial service, when I couldn’t have a funeral for my grandfather last month? It was illegal for me to have a funeral. Why do they get to have one? It doesn’t seem fair. Was his death more important (sort of like the “essential services” exception to the lockdown)?

How do I ask Gov. Walz and the other powers that be that question?

My friend adds that his question is hypothetical in his own case. His grandfather did not die last month, but hundreds of other Minnesotans did experience such a loss and were told, on pain of arrest, that they could not have a funeral. Is it okay now? Can we all hold funerals for our loved ones now? Surely some enterprising reporter inside the circle of love will ask Governor Walz at his next press conference.

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