n January 2020 I was sitting in an airport waiting for a flight to Israel. I texted my brother to let him know I
was leaving as I had neglected to mention it to him when I saw him at Christmas. "Good thing you're not going to China!" he texted back. I had no idea what he was referring to so I went online and Googled "What's up in China?" He was right, I was glad I was not going to China.
There’s nothing better than fresh pizza from t h e o v e n … e v e n a t 10 i n t h e m o r n i n g .
Two weeks later, I had a lay-over in Frankfurt, Germany on my way home. Here I was greeted by airport staff with
I am totally aware that my plans, and their subsequent
questions like "How long have you been traveling?" "Have
cancellation, are nothing compared to what many people
you been to China?" "Have you had a fever or cough?" The
and businesses have faced. Brandon Testa (see the story
rumors in the airport were that anyone arriving from China,
on page 32) was well on his way to opening a new House
or who had visited China at all during their travels, were
of Pizza location when COVID-19 arrived. It's one thing for
not being allowed in the airport. What do you do if you’re
me to try and recoup my pre-paid flight to England and
not allowed in the airport and you’re not allowed back on a
something quite different to face a mountain of financial
plane? Again, I was glad I had not traveled to China.
commitments when revenue is drying up daily.
Looking back, I'm shocked at how naive I was...and so
I'm a believer in 'silver linings' and Brandon must be,
grateful that Aunt Nancy and I were able to make our trip
too. He forged ahead by negotiating new contracts,
to the Middle East (and back!) with a few weeks to spare
finding vendors who supported his vision, and
before COVID-19 started to ravage the world. That was
the last of my 2020 plans that actually happened. In March all visitors were banned from my mom's
Meanwhile, I FaceTime with my mom, enjoy Zoom happy hours and dinners with family and friends, and
nursing home in Willmar. Instead of regular personal visits
pour over brochures eagerly awaiting the green light for
we were on the phone where she regularly asked "Why do
travel. An added bonus…my flower gardens have never
you keep calling me? Why don't you ever visit me anymore?"
In May the Chamber's trip to Alnwick, England, in cooperation with St. Cloud State University was cancelled. In June, fledgling plans to travel to Norway and
Until next issue,
Iceland with a friend were scrapped before we could even start looking at dates. In August, Aunt Nancy and I sadly looked at our calendars, which told us we were supposed to be in Mongolia.
Gail Ivers Editor
Celebrating 2000-2020 YEARS
Publisher Teresa Bohnen • Managing Editor Gail Ivers • Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allison Bily and Lynn MacDonald, St. Cloud State University
Chris Panek, Christine R. Panek, CPA
Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
Jessie Storlien, Stearns History Museum
Boz Bostrom, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Mitchell Kuhl, D.O., St. Cloud Orthopedics Kelti Lorence, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce 10
Jeanine Nistler, Freelance Writer
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St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine