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EDITORIAL: Stay responsible as things open up

As was expected, the news came this week that the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade is making a full return at the end of the month.

This will be followed in July be the return of a full Lawrence County Fair, as well as many other events that were called off last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are happy to hear of the return of our city’s signature event, we also would like to remind everyone who does attend to make every effort to follow the health guidelines.

While cases are going down statewide, we are still in a public emergency and the virus is still here.

The county health department advises that those who have been vaccinated are OK to be outdoors without masks, while it asks those who have no received a vaccine yet to wear them.

And those who attend are asked to keep to their own group of people, of no more than 10.

Obviously, there is no way to tell whether every person in a crowd has been vaccinated, so people are being asked to use the honor system.

And this will be the case throughout the coming year, as things reopen.

The fact is, there will not be a single, magic day when it is simply declared that COVID-19 is over, but rather a long fade out.

Guidelines will vary from state to state, city to city, and private companies may have different requirements for their establishments.

As this occurs, we ask everyone to be understanding of what is asked and to respect those who may not yet have the level of comfort others do in opening things as fast.

And, whether it is spelled out in a declaration or not, the most important thing one can do is to just use common sense: avoid packed crowds, wash hands thoroughly and get the vaccine as soon as possible.

It is possible to get our normal lives back, but it won’t be an overnight process. And by using responsible behavior, it will all happen more smoothly than a cavalier flaunting of any precautions.