Staying busy while sheltering in place

By: Rebecca Hudson

Murray County News Staffwriter

All over the community folks deemed as non-essential workers have been relegated to stay at home status since Governor Tim Walz’s executive proclamation set the order into place to start March 28.  The confinement, though not mandatory or overly restrictive, means the shutdown of schools, businesses and services, and has mandated continued social distancing.

It also resulted in a whole lot of free time for those staying at home.  In a society so accustomed to social interaction, finding ways to cope with the distancing has led to a bevy of activities being undertaken and experienced by young and old alike.

In order to fill the growing demand for cloth masks that are now recommended to be worn by the general public, several home sewers have cranked up assembly lines to produce hundreds of protective masks.  Most of them, like Ann Cimburek Muecke, even graciously put the offer of masks to the public at no cost.  “I just decided that since I was blessed to have a job that I would pay forward by helping the community,” Muecke says. 

Keeping busy is the idea, she says, yet replenishing materials such as elastic and fabric has slowed production somewhat with awaiting online orders to arrive.  Muecke has so far crafted 30 masks and has 100 more ready to start sewing when she gets more materials. Stepping up with the offer of materials has come from numerous community members as well and the process has united many in the best interest of everyone.

Staying at home with children who ordinarily attend school during the day has called for some creative parenting all around.  While students are required to log in with their teachers and complete lessons every day, there is certainly a good share of the rest of the day that is taken up by idle hours.

To read the rest of this article – pick up a copy of this week’s Murray County News or subscribe to our e-edition at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email