I’m flummoxed to hear hesitation over opening our schools and colleges “as normal” this fall in spite of some solid facts learned from three months of COVID data. Caution last spring was wise until we came to understand the disease, but now decisions seem to have turned political, despite actionable facts “hiding in plain sight” that Minnesotans of working age and younger are statically safe from serious consequences of COVID-19.

As a husband, father and grandpa I’ve felt compelled to study and understand “COVID” from experts I trust, most notably our Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). I have consolidated the charts from May 30 and July 15 directly from MDH. To validate please click “Age group data table: Including age group of deaths” midway down in MDH’s web page at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html#ageg1

Some disputed facts remain about this disease, but one group of data has been constant… it is not before age 60 that COVID becomes significantly deadly. This reality first caught my eye after no deaths were reported from the sensational infection of some 1600 meatpackers in Nobles County (Worthington) Minnesota, and the charts illustrate this “age” peculiarity to be statewide. (Other data indicates nation-wide)

Minnesota provides perhaps the user-friendliest COVID daily reports in the country. It’s been more tedious to study other states and the nation of Sweden, who like Minnesota all provide both infection and deaths by age groups, and I’ve discovered a remarkable fact among all those I have analyzed including New York City. The mortality rates by age are almost identical to Minnesota, including in Sweden who lost their battle in their nursing homes. Not on Main Street or in their schoolhouses, where society continued as usual, much to the chagrin of the rest of the world.

Negative news plagued us for weeks but now it’s turned good. Total mortality rate has declined to 3.47% and dropping, seniors need not worry about our young, of 43,742 recorded cases the numbers of healthy have “spiked” to 38,179, and the number of Minnesota’s once-infected nursing homes has been cut more than half. I believe the time for hesitation is past and we carefully return to normal.

Bob Roufs

Grand Rapids

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