COVID-19 cases are surrounding the Crookston area, and it is affecting everyone. After the governor's first announcement I was shocked at how many people panicked. They thought it was the end of the world. I was baffled at how many people acted like that. Those "crazies" bought all the stock of certain products in the grocery store. The grocery stores can't even keep up with stocking the shelves. People are taking it off as quick as the employees stock it. It is important to stock up, to a certain extent. Grab what you need, and save some for everyone else.

    The value of "stuff" became more important than what they currently had for some. I feel terrible for those who believe that ugliness. They define themselves by their possessions. That is shallow and unfair to the people around them. In a time like this we need to working together. It should be our goal to keep everyone safe and support each other. Let's show the world how close of a community we are.

    A big change in my daily routine was the closing of the gyms. I will admit that I am a gym addict. I've gotten to know a lot of our members and other fitness trainers in the past year. I know at least a dozen Anytime Fitness members in town here that are having gym withdrawals, like I am. The "physical place" of a gym is a big motivator that has been taken away. Some of us fitness addicts will go buy equipment and adjust our routines. Others will sit in quarantine and lose all of their "gains." Trainers across the world right now are doing all they can to support their clients. It is not impossible to reach your fitness goals at home.

    The gyms are just one of the many service businesses that got shutdown. Restaurants and bars closing are causing a big strain on the owners and employees. There are a lot of people that rely on those hours and tips for income. Curbside to-go services eliminate the need of a server or bartender. The owners can't afford to keep anyone on the clock. Some days there isn't enough time in a day for them to keep up. I think Crookston has done a great job so far, of supporting the restaurants by ordering takeout. We need to keep the spirit going. This whole ordeal is going to pass. We will make it through this pandemic. Each day we have is a blessing, so cherish it.

    The farmers are still preparing for planting season like normal. Some just finished corn harvest due to last year's terrible weather. Farmers are still farming and nothing will change that. Just take a second and think about how much man power it takes to feed America. Less than two percent of the US population is producing our food. It is incredible at how much they can accomplish with such high demands and limiting factors like acreage lost each year. As consumers we have a role in the food production industry. Instead of criticizing how farms operate we should be thank them. Most of us could never do what they do.

    Lindsay Louters, a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in Animal Science and Ag Business, is the classified advertising manager at the Times.