Minnesotans Are Driving a Lot Less During the Coronavirus!
Minnesota has only been under our Stay At Home order for less the five days, but the data is in that shows we're all driving less. A lot less!
Gov. Walz issued Minnesota's Stay At Home order last week, which took effect Friday, March 27th at midnight and runs through April 10th. It's designed to get most Minnesotans to work from home (if you can, and your job is not deemed 'essential') and pretty much remain holed up at home, leaving only to take care of essential business.
That could mean going to get groceries, taking your child or yourself to the doctor or checking in on a family member. Of course, traveling is also OK if you're heading to one of Minnesota's many beautiful state parks to get in a little exercise-- as long as you're still doing the whole social distancing thing.
So, travel isn't outlawed by any means here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Our Stay At Home measure apparently isn't anywhere near as strict as some reports I've read from Italy, where police there were reportedly asking to see proof that any trip you were making was, in fact, essential.
Be that as it may, though, it appears Minnesotans ARE taking the Gov. Walz's order to heart, and aren't traveling. At his daily press conference on Monday, the governor quoted a state from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that said traffic on Minnesota's roads and highways was down... 71 percent during the month of March! KARE-11 TV reporter John Croman had that fact on his Twitter page as it happened during the news conference.
And, even more unbelievable, is that traffic in the Twin Cities Metro was down a whopping 79 percent during March! Wow! Well, it DOES make sense-- even if you wanted to go someplace, you're not supposed to, right? And just about everything is closed anyway!
The irony is, of course, that all that light traffic would make for a pretty easy drive across Minnesota. And gas is the cheapest I've seen in a long time, too. (Unleaded at the Kwik Trip near my house in Rochester was $1.74, with unleaded 88 priced at $1.49!) Too bad we all have nowhere to go!