Our View: Returning to normal
We’re anxious to return to normal.
It’s a common feeling. Natural, even. Most of us have been pretty good for the past 15 or so months as we’ve dealt with COVID-19 and its effects. We stayed indoors, wore our masks when venturing out, and kept our interactions to a minimum.
And, thankfully, it appears we did things right. We had some setbacks, sure, but the current rate of new infections is low. People are getting vaccinated. They’re taking the steps so that we can get back to something that resembles, well, normal.
We’ve reached a point where reasonable people can have a discussion about what steps we should take at this point. That discussion actually has been going on for some time. We’re no longer in a situation with relatively few anti-maskers on one side battling safety rules that the rest of the community has been following on the other. A majority of us in Nevada County has had at least one shot, more than 80,000 given now. We’ve been talking, and it seems the state is starting to listen.
It’s wise to keep discussion going, before too many people decide against continuing to follow the state’s rules. We’ve seen that happen with speed limits. When people speed for enough time along a certain stretch, Caltrans will raise the speed limit.
So let’s talk now about what limits we’re willing to follow, before everyone starts doing 100 mph.
This is the point we’ve worked so hard to reach. The vaccine is now at the stage where anyone 12 and over can get it. The days of waiting your turn are over. It’s your turn, right now. If you haven’t made an appointment, you likely could set up one in the next five minutes.
It’s no longer an issue of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re in the sun now.
It’s also getting more difficult for our state leaders to argue we should continue with the status quo when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that if you’re fully vaccinated, your life can go back to normal. Or, in its own words, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
The rub is in that last bit. The state and municipalities still hold the power, and so far are continuing to adhere to the restrictions in place. As a practical matter, businesses are deciding for themselves how strictly they’ll follow these rules or continue with them after government restrictions lift. No argument with that. Businesses should be able to set certain boundaries, like “no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.”
Our point is that the state’s arguments for continued restrictions have become much weaker in light of the CDC’s newest guidelines.
This isn’t May 2020, when people refusing to wear masks put themselves and others in danger. It’s not November 2020, when selfish people denied the best evidence from science as our case numbers kept climbing.
It’s almost two months since Nevada County opened up vaccinations to everyone 16 and older. Vaccine appointments are easy for anyone to get.
It’s time for a change. We’ve earned it.
For now, at least, it looks like the state agrees, at least in part. State officials have said that their own mask mandate will align with the CDC’s on June 15, the date already set to for the state to lift all its restrictions.
It’s a move the state has to make and should think about advancing, frankly. What’s the point in maintaining a set of rules that fewer people obey with each passing week? Even Caltrans can see that trend.
Now, the conversation needs to focus on vaccination. Get your shot and encourage others to get theirs. Meantime, it’s not that difficult to abide by the rules for a few more weeks; June 15 isn’t so, so far in the future.
This is no longer an endless tunnel with no exit in sight. The community conversation, and our own actions, have led us to the goal we’ve always been seeking …
Something resembling normal.
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com
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