“There is no return to normal,” states a television ad produced for the Minnesota Department of Health.
Videos of the commercial began circulating on social media over the weekend, but a spokesperson for the Department of Health said the ad was “created and produced around the time when Minnesota was moving from complete shutdown to a phased reopening.”
“They were designed to counteract people’s natural tendencies to assume that reopening meant ‘everything is back to normal,’ which was clearly not the case. We needed to emphasize the importance of the Stay Safe measures so Minnesota could, in fact, go forward and continue to reopen gradually and not make the mistake that some states made in reopening too much too soon,” said Department of Health spokesperson Doug Schultz.
The commercial contains the typical coronavirus-related advice, but concludes with an ominous warning that “there is no return to normal.”
“But going forward we will return to something more,” the commercial states.
— Jester (@JestersDead13) August 13, 2020
Schultz said the ad, which was produced by a vendor through a contract with the Department of Health, has prompted “concerns from a variety of circles.”
“We have heard concerns from a variety of circles about the ‘there is no return to normal’ phrasing as implying something indefinite toward the future, rather than simply a statement on the current temporary conditions,” he said. “We are working with the vendor to remove that phrase in the next iteration of the ad.”
With a mask mandate in place since July 25, Minnesota now has a cumulative total of 70,298 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,771 deaths – 1,313 of which have occurred in long-term care facilities.
Gov. Tim Walz first declared a peacetime emergency on March 13 in response to the pandemic, with each emergency expiring after 30 days. He extended his emergency powers for a fifth time earlier this month.