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Take flu precautions

SIEDWAYS THUMB: The flu season is upon us early and viciously this year. Since the middle of December, it seems, there has been a lot of it going around, and the numbers are going up. Four people have died in Minnesota this year from influenza, including a teenaged boy. Teens are usually not among those hardest hit by influenza.

Local hospitals are taking it seriously, instituting visitation restrictions this week to protect their ill and vulnerable patients from exposure to the disease.

We would encourage everyone to get a flu shot, the best protection against contracting or spreading the virus. If you do become ill, please don’t try to tough it out. Stay home, so you won’t spread it to others.

Legislature startup

THUMBS UP: The Minnesota Legislature opens its 2013 session on Tuesday. This session should run smoother than in past years, since the Democrats control both houses, as well as the governor’s office.

Smoother does not necessarily mean better, however. We are hopeful that the DFLers in the House and Senate will use their majority advantage to craft common sense solutions to our major problems, including a deficit of more than a billion dollars in the state budget. Please, no more spending shifts, commandeering money from other funds and other one-time sleight-of-hand tricks that don’t address the real problem.

We hope Democrats will include Republicans in the discussion and the solutions, and that Republicans will contribute with their best ideas, and not simply sit back and criticize what the DFL is doing.

Go Vikings!

THUMBS UP: We don’t know how often two NFL teams have played two weeks in a row, but tonight’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers carries all the drama and rivalry of the past 52 years, as well as the heightened emotions from last week’s dramatic game.

The Vikings have a hard task ahead at Lambeau Field, against a smarting Packer team that will be at full strength this time.

But that will only make victory sweeter.


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