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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 4/8/20

Greetings and Happy Wednesday,

Tonight is the first night of Passover. Around the world, families will come together to celebrate this holiday of freedom. As opposed to most religious holidays, this one does not take place in a sanctuary conducted by clergy; rather, its place is in the home, with family. Central to the holiday is the family recounting the story of the coming out from Egypt. Many of the symbols essential to the story are found on a “seder plate.” The above is the “Corona” version.

This year, families are forced to “keep it small,” including only the nuclear family, some conducting “virtual seders.” The holiday seems particularly appropriate for the times, as this holiday has always eschewed large public gatherings, instead relying upon each of us to maintain our traditions together with loved ones. Tonight, when the question is asked “why is this night different from all other nights,” the answer is a bit more complicated.



Easter and Passover come around the same time of year, but not always the same week. It seems fitting that this year they come so close together. Regardless of one’s faith, or even if one has a faith, now is as good a time as any to reflect on where we are and how we will come out of this. Contrary to some commentators, this pandemic is not a “good thing” in any way. People are suffering; people will die. It is not a “message” that we’re being sent. It is not a “test” we’ve been assigned. And it certainly is not about “fate.” It just happened. Obviously we can do a better job reducing the conditions that give rise to a crisis such as this. Certainly we can be better prepared. And of course we should act sooner and with greater zeal. But here we are.

Most of us wonder how this event will affect us—individually, as a society, and as a world—when this is over. A good deal of our collective energy will be devoted to putting back together shattered lives, the economy, businesses, and communities. Sadly, I suspect we will learn fewer lessons than we profess to have learned from this. In large measure, eventually, things will return to “normal.” That said, it is my hope that we take something valuable away from all this. I couldn’t think of how to express this and then I received an email:



Thank you, Scott Edelman, for sending Minnesota Governor Waltz’s State of the State address. I read this and tore up today’s Musings to quote this at length. While it is powerful from start to finish, its conclusion, about getting through this, is just the type of inspiration we need as we head into this week of Passover and Easter:

“While we may be separated physically, we stand united. From Rondo to the Range, from North Minneapolis to North Mankato, we are One Minnesota.

And a new day will come.

The sun will shine. The trees will bud. The birds will sing.

Spring will arrive. And when it does, we will dig out. We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet.

Our communities will forever be changed. Our state will forever be changed. Our world will forever be changed.

We will grieve all that was taken from us. But we will also celebrate all that’s given to us. Unity. Humanity. Gratitude.

We will be more united as a state. We will cherish each other’s humanity. We will have endless gratitude for the lives we lead.

These trying times have led us back to each other.

We will value those we overlooked before. When times got tough, who did we lean on? It was the nurse. The grocer. The truck driver. The farmer. The janitor.

We will recognize all that educators and child care providers do for our students, our communities and our economy.

This crisis shows how much Minnesota depends on our schools not only to teach our children – but to feed them and provide for their physical and mental well‐being.

We will recognize all that public health workers do at the local and state level to detect and respond to health threats, not just infectious disease outbreaks but the many other threats that impact our personal and community health.

We will continue to look out for the most vulnerable—the poor, the sick, the hungry. Many have stepped up to protect them during this crisis and that dedication to their dignity and livelihood must endure.

We won’t take normalcy for granted. Our modern lives move fast—and this presents an opportunity to slow down and appreciate what truly matters.

We will welcome the morning rush getting our children to school.

We will smile as we pass restaurants bustling with friends sharing a meal.

We will gather again in our houses of worship.

We will have a renewed appreciation for the calming power of a warm embrace.

We won’t just make it to spring. We will come out better on the other side of this winter.

Because we are Minnesotans. We see challenges—and we tackle them.

No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up— by coming together.

Our blood saved the Union at Gettysburg.

Our iron forged the tanks that liberated Europe.

Our farmers sparked a green revolution that fed the world.

Our imagination transformed medicine—and appears poised to do so once again.

The State of our State is strong.

The State of our State is resilient.

The State of our State is united.

And our hearts are filled with gratitude for each and every Minnesotan and the role they play in the fight against COVID‐19.

Thank you.

Stay home, and stay healthy, Minnesota. Goodnight.”



Another book club with the author is available on-line tomorrow, Thursday April 9th, at 10:30 a.m. PDT:

Kevin Wilson,Nothing to See Here

Thursday, April 9th at 10:30 AM PST




It would have been so much easier…

Happy Passover and an early Happy Easter!


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