We are at the one-year anniversary of our first COVID-19 restrictions. Last March, schools went on extended spring break to rapidly adapt to distance learning for what we hoped was short term. Shelter-in-place orders were given. Nearly everything shut down to slow the spread of the virus that has killed more than 2.5 million worldwide, more than 500,000 in the United States, and more than 6,500 in Minnesota since then. In fact, many of us probably know at least one person who is no longer in our lives as a result of the virus.
One year later, our situation looks better.
We have three vaccines being administered throughout the country. Most students return to in-person learning March 10. Businesses are operating at limited capacity. And we are seeing a marked decrease of deaths in Minnesota since December when they were at an all-time high.
During the next few weeks, we’ll see decisions made about perennial favorites that have made summer in Minnesota summer for more than 100 years. The fairs, the festivals, the fireworks, the parades. All of these were boarded up in 2020.
At the time of this writing, Sartell Summer Fest 2021 is a go. Benton County Fair is on. The Minnesota State Fair countdown clock is already ticking away on its website. We’ll likely have a rapid succession of other announcements soon for JoeTown Rocks and more.
In addition, we make that spring ahead into Daylight Savings Time March 14, so we can enjoy more evening hours outside.
This spring brings the promise of family, friends, food and fun. A stark contrast from the past year.
As we cautiously make the return to normal, events might still look a little different. Precautionary measures will continue to be followed until greater numbers of our tribe are vaccinated. But we are a long way from where we were last year.
Get out. Be grateful. Enjoy.