Reader Opinion: Unprecedented Times


Being over 60 and asthmatic, I am especially vigilant about COVID-19, social distancing and hand sanitizing.

My daughters are very engaged in the situation. One is with a medical device company that disinfects hospitals using UV strobe light. The other, a global account manager for 3M, is busy keeping her major client, Sodexo, stocked with cleaning supplies and masks as they clean hospitals around the world.

This weekend, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) and our Board joined in the effort.

Friday, Shane Riffle of the YMCA and I met. Shane said they planned to start a Day Camp to host children of area Health Care and Emergency Services workers and other families who cannot take time off or work from home to be with young children if schools closed. Shane hoped we would expedite their grant request for a summer day camp.

Sunday, Governor Walz announced Minnesota schools would close on Wednesday, then the Dispatch reported schools were closing Monday. Sunday, I messaged the BLACF Board asking them to approve the expedited YMCA Grant, and to start a Community Response Fund, and our Board approved the measures. Please contact me at on how you can join our efforts and support this fund.


We’re closing offices on the 18th and staff will work remotely until further notice. We will postpone all scheduled events through June and reschedule those later this year.

It is imperative we ALL do our part in following the advice of health professionals to practice social distancing and common sense hygiene by coughing/sneezing into our sleeves, and regularly disinfecting our hands. All this may seem like an overreaction. Let’s hope that in the end, it will appear we did overreact, because only then, will we have succeeded.

Karl Samp I Executive director, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation

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