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Boreal Community Media

North Shore plays it safe

Jul 18, 2020 10:54AM ● By Editor

Photo: Trip Advisor

By Tom Hintgen, columnist from the Fergus Falls Journal - July 17, 2020

Tourism is a big part of the North Shore economy, all the way from Duluth to Grand Marais near Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota.

The tourist industry is again attracting people to the North Shore, but they are doing things the right way in light of COVID-19.

Masks, social distancing and other safety practices are the order of the day in lodges, restaurants, supermarkets and even outdoors near the headquarters of places such as Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Our family spent four nights in a lodge north of Two Harbors, near Gooseberry Falls, the week of July 5. We were impressed by businesses and residents alike who showed concern for their safety and also the well-being of visitors like us.

“It was really tough being closed down until just recently,” said a masked waiter who served us at a restaurant close to the waterfront in Duluth. “We all want to do this right by staying safe and not having to close down a second time.”

City leaders in Duluth have directives for residents and visitors, emphasizing that  people need to make responsible choices while utilizing parks and trails. Those directives held true as we traveled farther up the North Shore, a few miles past Two Harbors.

Many people wore masks as they headed from the parking lot to the water falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Others made sure to adhere to social distancing. There was a feeling that we were all in this together, the way it should be.

All along the North Shore, a person had ample opportunity to use hand sanitizer made available for the general public.

As we got closer to home, we made a stop at a restaurant about an hour’s drive from Fergus Falls. 

To our chagrin, we were the only ones who wore face masks when we entered the building. The restaurant, to their credit, did have tables spaced from one another at a safe distance. But the servers did not wear masks.

We all need to do our part by playing it safe in response to COVID-19. We can all make better efforts during these trying times.

Tom Hintgen is a longtime Daily Journal columnist. His column appears Saturdays.  To read the original story and other columns, follow this link to the Fergus Falls Journal.

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