Our View: A Breath Of Fresh Air

Opinion

What are you looking forward to?

For us, it’s interviewing people face-to-face. Asking people to smile for a photo – and being able to see it without a mask. And relaxing our relentless coverage of COVID-19, which has been uninterrupted for the past 15 months. We can’t wait for a good office party, too, so we can enjoy the company of our coworkers.

But that’s us. What are you looking forward to when the state’s pandemic restrictions are lifted at the end of the month? Family gatherings? Watching a movie on the big screen? A more traditional restaurant or shopping experience? Yep, we’re with you.

But don’t burn your face masks – at least not yet. The state’s indoor mask mandate remains in effect until May 29. And some businesses and individuals may continue to choose to mask up for awhile yet. Just as we were patient with the mask requirements, we need to respect those who aren’t quite ready yet to let down their guard.

In the week ahead, more young people will get vaccinated, broadening the community’s safety net. Make no mistake: while the masks and social distancing were critical in containing the spread of the coronavirus, it’s the widespread use of vaccines that’s allowed officials to lift public health restrictions.

So if you’re eligible to be vaccinated but haven’t done so yet, don’t hesitate. Doses are plentiful and available locally, often in walk-in clinics. Getting vaccinated protects you and your loved ones, as well as members of the community who can’t, or won’t, get inoculated themselves. For year-round residents and the summer visitors we’ll be welcoming in droves, it’ll be a real shot in the arm.

So when the time’s right, take a deep, un-masked breath and enjoy the weeks ahead.