Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday extended Minnesota’s Stay at Home order from this Friday (April 10) until May 4. He said the extension will push the low end of the peak into the range where we will have enough ventilators and ICU beds in Minnesota to accommodate the projected number of patients.
Let’s emphasize “projected” number of patients because that number keeps coming down and we still have not seen the full modeling the governor is using to make his decisions. We all deserve more transparency on this. Minnesotans want to work together and do our part to protect the health of our neighbors, but if he is making decisions that impact thousands of businesses and millions of Minnesotans, he should share the information he says is driving those actions.
The governor also announced flexibility for more businesses to continue operating, including lawn care, landscaping, agricultural equipment repair, garden centers, nurseries and more. It will be helpful that at least some of our workers can get back on the job but, at the same time, I am hearing from other business owners who are worried sick they are going to lose everything over this.
I share their concerns over the reach of the governor’s shutdown order. Legislators have been pushing the administration on a daily basis asking for exemptions, flexibility and common sense. If there are businesses that can protect the safety of employees and customers, we should allow them to do so. I also continue to have serious questions over the slippery long-term slope we find ourselves on due to actions that have been taken.
In other news, I encourage area citizens who are having trouble affording insulin to check out a new, low-cost option. Eli Lilly and Company has introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program, allowing anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance to fill their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35.
This program could be a helpful route for people who are unable to access the low-cost co-pays that have been made available through other means. It’s good to see the market responding in a way that increases access to insulin for people. While most Minnesotans already have access to low-cost insulin through their insurance providers or state programs, some people are experiencing coverage gaps and this new option could help them.
While Lilly indicates in a press release that the program was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company also says it has no plans for discontinuing the program in the future. Call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (833) 808-1234 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, or visit www.lilly.com and search “insulin” for more.
This is worth a look if you are among those who are struggling to find affordable insulin.
Have a blessed Easter/Passover and, until next time, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.