Kids and families in need: Visit the Times’ food vending machines

The Crookston Times will be setting out newspaper vending machines outside their office at 124 S. Broadway with non-perishable unopened food items inside for kids and families in need while schools are closed starting Wednesday. If you would like to drop off food items, feel free to bring them to their office or fill the machines. Please help keep the machines organized and let them know if they’re empty. The Times wants to do its part to help the community during the quarantine and school closing time, and hopefully it will help even a few families.

Yes, if you’re open, you’re ‘closely monitoring’ situation

We're receiving the emails, news releases and getting shared Facebook posts from local and area businesses and agencies and organizations, and it's all great and we appreciate it at the TImes. But maybe we can just sum it all up right now by saying that if you are a local or area business, agency or organization and you have not yet actually closed up shop and locked your doors, we can all assume that you're educating your staff more than ever on proper hand-washing, sanitizing and hygiene, you're cleaning and disinfecting your equipment and location more than ever, and you're continuing to "very closely monitor" the constantly changing, ever-evolving COVID-19/coronavirus situation. It would be breaking news if you weren't doing all of those things, but we understand that you want to get the word out that you are.

Plenty to do during school closure

For parents trying to plan what their kids will do for the next couple of weeks, there are plenty of things besides TV and smartphone time, cleaning (though that’s a good one) or just sitting around. Learning how to bake or cook (with supervision) could be lots of fun. There are unlimited recipes available on the internet or in grandma’s old cookbooks in your pantry. Take a virtual trip. There’s a post on Facebook that’s been shared thousands of times with a Google doc containing over 30 virtual field trips to places like the San Diego Zoo, Yellowstone National Park, Mars, animal cameras, museums, and more. Even the Cincinnati Zoo is doing a Home Safari Facebook Live on weekdays at 3 p.m. where they’ll highlight animals and include an activity you can do from home. Get creative, do some art, have some fun, and stay occupied during the break.

Realize we can’t overwhelm our health care system

You can be sick of reading and hearing about the COVID-19/coronavirus all you want, but one of the primary reasons behind all of the hype, beyond the obvious desire to minimize the number of sick and the number of people who die from the virus, is to prevent our health care facilities from being overwhelmed. It could easily happen in a nation with almost three times as many prison beds as hospital beds. It's also about not overwhelming the nation's supply of critically needed medical equipment, and it's also about sparing our health care workers from as much risk as possible from treating those with COVID-19. So when you're fed up with all of this, think about our hospitals and clinics, our medical supplies, and our health care workers. Just imagine a continued, consistent, significant spread, and not having the facilities, equipment and people to treat the sick.

Play reruns for March Madness withdrawal

March is usually one of the best months for sports of the year, but not this year. It is going to be difficult to get through this month without March Madness. TV channels should play all the games from last years tournament, as well as other classic games over the years. Even though there is no live games on, this would help people get their college basketball fix. It just does not feel right to go through the month of march with out sitting on the couch and watching basketball all day long. While it’s not nearly the same, being able to watch past games would certainly be nice.
– Cooper Brown, student writer