Fireworks & Fests
By the time you're reading this, the 4th of July and its associated events will likely have passed. How was it where you are? Around here, it looks like a very mixed bag, with some events proceeding as normal, some new events added, and some events canceled.
Local citizens in some communities have been frustrated by the cancellation of fireworks and fests, citing how much progress we've made with vaccination and reopening as reasons why those events should be back on the table. Unfortunately, as you surely know, most of the fireworks and festivities had to be planned at a time when the future was still very much an unknown. Many community leaders had to make the call on whether to host or cancel their big summer events in February or March of this year, and at that point, while the number of people falling ill was certainly starting to come down, it wasn't at all clear that we were, well, in the clear—especially when it comes to large, mixed crowds of people. No one could have known then that by July 1, most states would be fully reopened (though with various measures like mask mandates still in place in many locales).
Truth be told, while things are starting to look pretty good, there are still a lot of unknowns, even now. Among my friends, neighbors and family, I see a lot of people who are still far too fearful to consider getting back to life as normal. I worry that some of them are taking their caution a bit too far. Others are eager to ditch their masks entirely and get back to business as usual. I worry that some of them may not be cautious enough.
To the overly cautious, I say, we can't stay in lockdown forever, and if decisions to reopen seem reasonable, then we should celebrate that. And by all means, if it makes you feel more comfortable, keep your mask, and keep your distance. To the underly cautious, I say, COVID-19 is still ravaging other populations in the world, and its potential to mutate (witness the Delta variant) when it's so widespread means at least a little caution is probably still wise.
Mostly, like everyone else, I'm looking forward to taking advantage of every opportunity to get out and active in my community again. Our fireworks are back on, though without the usual roundup of food trucks and live music. The gym has reopened, though precautions are still in place. I drove by the playground a couple of days ago, and it looked like normal times again. The archery range was busier than I've seen since 2019 when I biked past the other day.
What a relief!
Fingers crossed, we can keep on track and soon enough, we'll be back to all the fireworks, fests and fun that define our summers, with (hopefully) a little more appreciation for what we have.