Life is not normal anymore, let’s not treat it that way

Sasha Albright, Web Editor

Imagine last winter: restaurants fully open ready to seat hungry customers who needed something to do; Concerts were still going on, large crowds packed into small places. Remember going to the movies? Since December of last year, the world has turned upside down, COVID-19 has become the epicenter of our world.  

Recreation outside of our homes has become a fantasy in 2020, and Sam Page, county executive, wanted to change that. As COVID cases were rising on Oct. 5, he opened up restaurants for indoor seating, along with other businesses, at 50 percent capacity. As someone who works in a restaurant, this scared my coworkers and I because we hadn’t had people dine in the restaurant for almost six months. It was not our ideal situation, we all thought that it was unsafe and harmed us as much as the customers.

It almost seemed like things were back to normal. Bars and restaurants became packed. People would take off masks right as they would step into the restaurant. 

As a result of people not following restrictions and cases rising, on Nov. 17, Page put into action a new stay at home order that would close down indoor dining and give restaurants a three strike policy on having customers inside. After your third strike, the county could then shut you down. Other things required were changes to mask wearing, such as “all residents 6 years old and older required to wear a mask in public,” according to Page’s stay at home order. It goes on to  say “Essential reasons to leave the house include going to get food or groceries, going to work, getting medical care, going to places of worship and visiting others in their social bubbles.” Despite the newest restrictions, and although limits have been placed on public spaces, people refused to stop gathering in large groups. This is problematic because it is impossible to know who or what the rest of the people in their bubble are doing and vice versa. Social isolation has become a factor that most people, but especially teenagers like myself, have struggled with. Many days I see people hanging out without masks all over instagram. 

Although we have lost so much over the past nine months, we need to remember that this pandemic does not care about your feelings. You can’t ask for the pandemic to end if you are not going to follow any of the guidelines that have been put in place. Many of them are not laws, so it’s not like you will go to jail, but for the good of humanity and ending the pandemic, please make the right choices. 

It is no longer as simple as wearing a mask and social distancing, it’s become an isolation state. We may feel cooped up and not able to do anything, but right now that’s the best thing if we want to protect ourselves and the people we love. 

Update: Page receded the stay at home order on Jan. 4, allowing restaurants to reopen at a 25% capacity. Along with that, they have to close by 10 pm and need to provide contact tracing.