Corner Column

By Phil Major
publisher@wood.cm
Posted 7/8/21

It was appropriate, I suppose, that our first actual venture to sit down and eat a meal at a restaurant since March 2020 was in my hometown, within easy view of the church in which I grew up.

And …

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Corner Column

Posted

It was appropriate, I suppose, that our first actual venture to sit down and eat a meal at a restaurant since March 2020 was in my hometown, within easy view of the church in which I grew up.

And it felt normal, a sensation I’m sure many of you have experienced in the past weeks or months.

The entire weekend trended almost back to normalcy. The hotel hosting the press convention still required its employees to wear masks, and it might have been interesting to hear their thoughts. A few guests also wore theirs.

I didn’t poll my fellow publishers, but based on casual conversations I got the impression that vaccination rates probably approached 100%.

There is a broad cross section who are in my age range, which has much higher participation rates than the general populace. And it’s a pretty smart bunch of folks, so there’s that.

I have returned to actual attendance at council meetings and school boards and such.

That virtual stuff just wasn’t working as well, though I hope all local entities understand the transparency value of giving citizens the chance to listen in if they cannot attend and will make plans to continue live streaming public meetings.

We are also venturing out for community events, an activity that was curtailed by just the lack of having them as well as trying to be as safe as possible.

Rates of infection from the virus are falling to lows we haven’t seen since the early days of the pandemic.

The report from the area health authority recently for Wood County showed just one new case, with no deaths in months.

Unfortunately there are other parts of the country and the world where that isn’t the situation, so we still have a long way to go. Recent information seems to suggest that those with vaccinations are faring much better, as the large share of the most recent deaths have been among those who were not vaccinated, and those who have had the shots are doing much better against the virus variants that seem to be fueling most recent outbreaks.

Some take aways from these past 16 months.

The UIL decided to do what I thought they should have done years ago and will allow us to watch high school football online again this season.

The flu was virtually non-existent this year.

Hand washing and mask wearing are the main reasons, so that’s something to think about.

Another disease that impacts mostly young kids, RSV, has shifted to the spring and summer from its usual timing that coincides with flu season. I’m sure we have more to learn about that from a medical standpoint.

While reorganizing and cleaning out the office, where we’re getting our money’s worth with our Dumpster, we came across a book, “Year of Wonders.”

It’s an historical novel set in 1666 England about a village that isolated itself during an outbreak of the plague and lost about two-thirds of its residents.

It was written about 20 years ago by an award-winning journalist.

And this quote from the back cover was chilling:

“…reveals how ignorance, hatred and mistrust can be as deadly as any virus….”

So of course I had to read the book. Obviously they did not have the tools to medically fight an outbreak 350 years ago that we have today. But humans are still human, and we experienced some of the same phenomena in 2020-21, with sometimes deadly results.

I wonder how authors will view our current times when they write about us decades and centuries from now?