Although there are several items in the news cycles that could merit some discussion, this time I’m going to relate some of the more welcome and positive things that have begun to happen in and around our county.
I’m pleased to report that my special lady and I have been able to, on several occasions recently, dine indoors at a restaurant totally mask-less. What a pleasure it is to be able to see the smiles on the faces of not only the other diners, but also on the faces of the wait staff and the others who have been without work or had their hours severely cut back for so long because of the pandemic. Conversations, un-muffled by a face covering of any kind, and being able to see the bare faced expressions on your partner are a pleasure unknown for more than a year.
My weekly grocery run has become a bit less of a chore since masks are no longer required in those establishments as well. The aromas of fresh bakery items and fresh fruits and vegetables are another small thing that had been missing from our lives. Many times we don’t realize what has been missing until it reappears.
One of the things that I have missed the most, but now has resumed after 15 months, is the monthly meeting of the writer’s group of which I am a member. We have been denied the face-to-face contact and the ability to hear what others have written and read what I have written and the critiquing of both.
But more than that, it was the opportunity to see the friendly faces that I had missed for so long.
Generally, things are beginning to open up and return to, at least, some sort of normal. The Carroll County 4-H & FFA fair is returning with a full lineup of activities and entertainment and be open to all. Major entertainment is being scheduled for the summer and fall all around the area. Many of our favorite bands are coming to easily reached venues and comedy shows are booked.
The Sykesville fire company will be holding their carnival this year. Others are still trying to decide on whether or not they can do the same. Maybe they can see their way to do more than the drive-thru food sales as they were forced to last year. I, for one, am ready for some of the traditional carnival food and entertainment.
One note of caution, however. The lifting of the masking directives is really dependent on everyone getting the vaccine. All of the places that I have been have signs posted stating that patrons may enter mask-less if they have been fully vaccinated. Others are requested to continue wearing a mask in order to protect themselves and others from the virus. The only way to fully defeat this scourge is for everyone who is medically able to get the shot(s).
Vaccination had rid most of the world of smallpox and polio, and greatly reduced the rates of infection from measles, mumps, whooping cough, and other childhood diseases. Now there are shots available to keep us from getting the various strains of the flu, shingles, certain cancers, and some others that I can’t recall now.
Adults, get the shots! Parents, get your kids vaccinated as soon as they are able, teens now, younger children coming soon. It’s the only way to defeat the COVID virus and safely open up our country, and the world.
Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.