Traveling to Switzerland amid COVID-19

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The hay bales around town are certainly creative!

I enjoy seeing them and I like the creativity groups put into the bales.

I missed Hay Day activities Saturday because I was a little out of sorts.

I had just come back from visiting my daughter in Switzerland and the jet lag just was too much this trip.

Traveling in COVID-19 times is full of new experiences. I have never had a QR code, I don’t even understand how they work. In Switzerland I had a QR code on my phone. Once I provided proof of my vaccination status and filled out an online form, I was issued a QR code.

When I went into a restaurant, museum, or coffee shop, I had to show my QR code and a photo ID. If someone does not have a QR code, they can still eat at the restaurant but outside. On windy, chilly days that is no fun.

If someone in the restaurant develops COVID-19, the QR codes can be used to notify people that they may have been exposed.

Everyone wears masks inside. In a restaurant, you are required to wear a mask except when at your table.

I was told I had to have a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of flying back to the states. I got my test and certificate, but no one asked me if I had been vaccinated or tested recently. That surprised me.

Not everyone agrees with the testing or mask requirements.

One museum we planned to visit was closed because the owners did not agree with the government policy. Their stand did not make sense to me because it was a privately-owned museum and visitors are the only source of income. 

Congressional maps

Did you see the proposed Congressional maps for Illinois?

Rochelle is in a district that runs almost from almost Wisconsin to Effingham! It is ridiculous! And Caron Road is the boundary!

The Democrats drew the maps this time. In the past republicans have done the same type of gerrymandering. John Cox was a democrat elected to Congress for our district in the late 90s, but when republicans redistricted he was gerrymandered into a heavily republican county, which resulted in a republican defeating him.

The only way to solve the problem is to form a bipartisan commission that uses current census data and computers to draw boundaries. Until then, the folks in Springfield, regardless of party, will only protect themselves.

Terry Dickow can be contacted at terrydickow@gmail.com