MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of protesters took their voices to Gov. Tim Walz’s home in St. Paul Saturday to express their displeasure with the state’s dial back order.

The four-week order began Saturday. Bars and restaurants will be takeout only, gyms are closed and youth sports are on pause.

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“We’re just tired of the tyranny,” said Jay Bierbaum, who came with his teenage daughter Elise from Litchfield. “We want our lives back to normal.”

Elise says not playing her favorite sport, tennis, is bad for her physical and mental health.

Kathy McEnaney attended the protest from Mound. She was holding a sign that had Walz’s head on a dart board.

“I’m here for all of our kids and trying to get them back on the ice [to play hockey] in my case,” she said. “We have a lot of friends locally who own small business bars, and they’re just suffering.”

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When asked what should be done instead of the dial back order to contain the virus, answers from protesters varied. They included trusting individuals to wear masks and socially distance, focus on protecting the elderly, and do nothing at all, letting the virus run its course.

More than 3,200 Minnesotans have died of COVID, and hundreds of healthcare workers are quarantined right now because they either have COVID or been exposed to it.

Unlike some of his fellow protesters, Todd Pearson acknowledged the dangers of the virus are real, but he feels the latest order goes too far.

“We’ve allowed fear of a virus to control us to the point where we’re willing to destroy our constitutional liberties and an economy that was raging strong,” Pearson said.

Walz has not responded to the protests, but he tweeted Saturday morning urging Minnesota to mask up. He wrote “Masks work, but not if you only wear them some of the time. Whether you like them or not, they save lives.”

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David Schuman