Don’t go stumbling now that we’re in the home stretch

Column by John Akal
Posted 1/8/21

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in breathing a sigh of relief this past New Year’s Eve when 2020 finally came to an end. It’s been a tough year for so many people in so many ways. For me, personally, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2019-2020, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Don’t go stumbling now that we’re in the home stretch

Posted

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in breathing a sigh of relief this past New Year’s Eve when 2020 finally came to an end. It’s been a tough year for so many people in so many ways. For me, personally, it ended with two of my good friends passing away right after Christmas. Although neither one of them died as a result of COVID, it was still a sad ending to the year. I did lose three other friends to COVID though, and I am hoping that they are the only ones I know that will perish from it.

But, that may not be the case. Even though we finally have vaccines emerging, we all have to remember that there is a difference between a vaccine and actually being vaccinated and we are just in the early stages of getting an enormous number of people vaccinated and the process is complicated by the fact that the two vaccines currently available need to be given in two separate doses. We are just going to have to hang in there a little while longer and still keep our guard up. My mind keeps flashing back to those war movies where the hero finishes a combat tour and is headed home on a helicopter or airplane that gets blown out of the sky. Now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you don’t want to get complacent and end up as one of the last fatalities of COVID-19. Just wear your masks, wash your hands and keep a distance from other people for a little while longer. 2021’s New Years Eve party is going to be off the hook and you don’t want to miss it, OK?

Now, of course, this column usually is about upcoming events, and as of this writing, things are pretty much still canceled everywhere except for virtual ones, and we have already looked at where you can find those. I’m sure most of you have already exhausted ways to entertain yourselves and your family on-line and binge watched way too much television. You don’t really need a recommendation of a new Netflix series, you are probably already in the middle of watching something on there.

What you do need is a bit of guidance as to when things are going to start opening up again, and what to expect. Unfortunately, I really don’t have any concrete answers for you either, and believe me, I have been looking and keeping on top of every breaking news story regarding when and how things will be back on track. Restrictions are being added and subtracted so fast, and situations changing almost overnight, so it’s really difficult to know exactly where things stand. Add to that the fact that things in the state are coded in colors like red and orange but different cities and counties have their own rules and regulations, so it’s still pretty confusing. My best advice is to just keep watching our local news broadcasts and once you hear something may be changing and opening up, call your favorite places on the phone and ask them what they are doing right now. Even though they may be able to open at 25% capacity, some may opt not to do so and others may have already completely gone out of business. Right now it’s too early for me to give you a complete damage report, and businesses are scrambling this week to get back in operation, so stand by, I’ll keep you updated as best as I can.

This much I can tell you, most live music is still on hold. There has to be a certain number of people in an audience to cover the expense of it and 25% is barely enough people to just keep the doors open, let alone add paying for a band, so that is going to be a little further down the road. Even the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra has canceled this year’s concert season. They aren’t allowed to sell enough tickets to cover the cost of putting on a concert yet.

Right now we are all playing a numbers game. Everything hangs on the official totals and graphs showing the number of virus cases reported, how many people end up in the hospital and how many people die every day. That where everyone’s bread and butter comes from, so if we want to get things back open again, we have to still do what we can to get those numbers down, because they are the only thing that really count right now. Nobody is counting how many people refuse to wear masks for personal reasons, refuse to social distance and still think this whole thing is some kind of joke. If you get sick, you just end up as a number on one of those charts. So, please … Do what you can to stay off the charts, OK? It’s not the Billboard Hot 100.

John Akal, COVID-19

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.