This letter is in response to the Mankato Free Press article, “River Hills Mall, Other Businesses Begin Reopening” published Tuesday.

I was disappointed to read that members of our community visited the mall on reopening day out of curiosity rather than necessity. These same individuals also expressed concern for businesses impacted by the stay-at-home order.

Folks, if we want to keep businesses open, we all have to become smart, safe shoppers. Don't do what these people did.

Shopping smart in this pandemic requires all of us to plan ahead, make a list, buy what we need quickly and get out. Shop online when you can or use curbside service if it’s available.

If you must shop in person, don't shop when you're sick. Shop alone. Shop quickly. Keep physical distance from other customers and store employees. Wear a mask. If you can’t wear a mask, use online shopping and curbside service whenever possible or send a family member or friend to shop for you.

Businesses attempting to recover from loss of revenue need us to shop smart. Store employees need us to shop smart. Our health-care system needs us to shop smart. Our valued elder population and others most at-risk in this pandemic need us to shop smart.

For the sake of our entire community, public health and economic recovery, let’s not screw this up.

Keri Johnson

St. Peter

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