It’s hard to defend Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic at any point over the last year, but the past two weeks have us scratching our heads and clinging to our masks. At a time when there’s room for optimism, room for - dare we say it - excitement and celebration, instead we’re bracing for what’s to come.

Flashback to Reynolds’ Condition of the State address, in which she pushed the legislature to force all schools to offer a 100 percent in-person option. The House and Senate obliged quickly and now, no matter the positivity rate or outbreak status in a community, schools are forced to gather in person. Educators are finally getting their chance at immunization here in Hardin County and around the state, but those initial jabs won’t fully take effect for at least a couple of months.

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