As we prepare to enter into the 16th month of the pandemic, we see that things are starting to reopen and restrictions are being lifted.

The pandemic, like everything else, has been politicized. And people have their opinions of what should have happened and the best approach to addressing the disease. The bottom line is no one in our current society was prepared for this pandemic. And while only a fraction of the people who contracted the virus died, it could have been worse.

Decisions were made to close down the economy and after that, the government felt like they needed to do something, which they did in the form of stimulus checks. But in many cases that was too little too late.

What was not addressed was the reopening of our economy.

The first thing that needed to happen was to stop people from getting sick. For the most part, that happened. People are going to get sick regardless of the most extreme mitigation rules. If the country didn’t close like it did, many more people would have died. If you look in areas where the most deaths occurred it was in highly populated areas. So shutting things down temporarily was a good move. But, there was no plan to fix or reopen the economy.

Once the vaccine was developed, and people were able to make a choice to get it, the economy should have started to reopen. However, some states waited to see what would happen before making any decisions to fully reopen.  The lack of planning caused more controversy and political rhetoric.

As the economy bounces back, events are being scheduled and restaurants are desperately trying to get to full capacity, you can choose to partake in events or go to restaurants or not. As you saw in these pages, the Appalachian Wireless Arena has announced a few new events. The App Theatre has many events scheduled. Schools are back in session; people are out shopping and visiting restaurants.

We as citizens have choices to make. We can choose to get the shot. We can choose to wear a mask, which I’m over. We can choose to stay apart. We can choose to wash our hands. And we can choose to go out or stay in. We have a lot of choices.  

Whatever choice you make, it’s your decision and people should not judge your decision or criticize businesses that choose to continue tor to drop the mandates. If you employer requires you to wear a mask, then you need to wear one. If your favorite store requires you to wear a mask, you can choose to wear one or go someplace else.

I left my mask in the car the other day and had to run into the store. A woman looked at me like I was a heathen and a leper. I’m full vaccinated, I wash my hands all the time, I have no symptoms and other than a little emotional distress, I feel pretty good. Her judgment of me was abhorrent. I wanted to tell her to mind her own damn business, in a Christian sort of way.  But because I’m a nice person, I went on my merry way.

If you choose to go out and see a show or go out to dinner, do what ever makes you comfortable. If you are not comfortable yet, then you can stay home without judging others.

Stay safe and thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.

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