After leaving the station on Friday I took a drive around and, in the empty streets and neighborhoods, I found plenty of space to stop and take a picture.

It's not a ghost town. That's not what it is...not what it felt like. Just like a city staying in. Like it was really bad weather. Most people I did see were walking quickly, moving from point A to point B. No meandering, dilly-dallying, or shilly-shallying as WT (my dad) used to say.

I did speak to one business owner. Tessa Leung, at Grand Rounds, saw me taking a picture of the signs on GR's door and she stepped out, a wine bottle in each hand, "Whatchya up to, Rabe?"

Not much. Just taking pictures of signs. Signs that we probably won't see again in our lifetime. Pictures of something that can't be photographed. Pictures of the Med-CIty and all of MN doing its level best to kick this thing down a knotch or two. Flatten the curve, that's what the smart folks and kids call it.

Tessa and I had a nice 9-foot chat (she knows what's what), very Minnesotan. Fun to see another face, to hear another voice, and to be outside. Sad because she and one other employee were prepping for the lunch rush. "Rush." Which it is, right? But not so rushy unless you only have one cook.

Photo: James Rabe
Photo: James Rabe

Plus they were making food to make sure kids were eating.

That's something I've heard a lot of restaurants are doing. Taking care of the kids. That's cool...and how we do in Minnesota.

So many mixed emotions that the signs will never really be able to convey, but maybe they'll remind us. When it's all said and done, and ten years on, they'll remind us of a weirdly busy and quiet Rochester Spring.

COVID-19: Signs of the Times in Rochester

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Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

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