Be kind. Be cautious

Posted 4/8/21

Masks are coming off. We know you are excited. Events are being held again. We know you are ecstatic.

But after a year in isolation and living in fear, there are many in our community who are not …

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Be kind. Be cautious

Posted

Masks are coming off. We know you are excited. Events are being held again. We know you are ecstatic.

But after a year in isolation and living in fear, there are many in our community who are not as joyous right now.

More than 300 people in Baldwin County, and more than 10,000 in Alabama, died when they caught the Coronavirus. Hundreds of others still suffer from its impacts. Their families are devastated. They proceed with life cautiously.

Experts expect people all over the United States, and the world, who have lived in fear of death and sickness to emerge slowly. The toll on the collective mental health of people across the planet has yet to be determined and is expected to be devastating.

And after a year of nothing much to do many of us are struggling to keep up with ever expanding schedules as the daily to do list grows from stay home and stay safe to do all the things, right now. It is a lot to process. It is a lot to become accustomed to running from activity to activity again.

And, the pandemic is not over.

The virus continues to rage even as communities are marking record numbers of vaccinations.

Variants believed to be more rapidly spread and more deadly are now the most frequently recorded in new cases. Experts do not know yet if our vaccines will guard against them.

Emergency rooms in large U.S. cities are seeing a surge in severe cases of the disease in people ages 18 – 40, and even in children. The virus seems to have turned its focus to a younger crowd now that the elderly population is protected and safe.

There are a lot of reasons your friends, your families, your neighbors may not be ready to emerge and mingle. There are a lot of people who will continue to wear masks.

Let them. Don’t be cruel. Don’t say unkind words. It is their absolute right to emerge from the pandemic as they are ready in a way that makes them feel most safe. It is their absolute right to continue to hunker down until more is known about the variants that are beginning to spread.

Don’t berate your friends who won’t join you at a restaurant. Don’t shout at strangers who continue to wear masks. Don’t harass employees of stores and venues that continue to require masks.

It has been a tough year. We are all recovering in our own way and our own time.

If you are on the beach, dining out and burning your masks in celebration, we are happy for you. But please be kind to those who are not quite ready yet.