This past week’s weather has made us – and we suspect most of you – ready for summer.
Temperatures nearing 80 degrees with bright sunshine helped generate smiles across Licking County as we move towards a post-pandemic life.
New CDC guidelines and Ohio regulations have lifted most of the COVID-19 restrictions we’ve borne over the past 14 months. Restaurants and shops no longer need to require masks for vaccinated customers, sports and entertainment venues will soon no longer need to restrict capacity and people are largely allowed to return to their activities enjoyed pre-pandemic.
Of course this doesn’t mean COVID-19 is completely over. Unfortunately, it may never truly be gone with large segments of the population expressing skepticism or outright antipathy toward the vaccine.
We believe people who can get the vaccine, and that is almost everyone, should do so, but we also recognize that will be a challenge. We do believe Gov. Mike DeWine’s vaccine lottery is a good experiment in whether such incentives will really change behavior. We look forward to learning whether it was a success.
As we celebrate local festivals and venues, be thankful we live in a community with so many wonderful things to offer. For those comfortable going out, we encourage you to frequent Licking County establishments – many of which struggled during COVID restrictions.
And whatever your feelings on the pandemic and its restrictions, be thoughtful of others. Take precautions you feel are appropriate for yourself without attacking those you disagree with – aggressive behavior will only harden opinions and further divide us. We should all be glad we have more freedom.
So enjoy your summer, and try to enjoy some of it locally.
YES Club fire response
We offer our thanks to the greater Licking County community for how it responded with open arms to the YES Club after the organization’s building suffered a fire recently.Get the News Alerts newsletter in your inbox.
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While the fire disrupted operations at the youth center, the tremendous response from local organizations has assured that the center’s mission will continue even while the building is under repairs. Restaurants offered to feed the kids, The Works offered to host club events and a local church, Second Presbyterian, offered its gymnasium and dining room for the club’s summer camp.
Second Presbyterian Church Pastor Todd Tracy noted on the quick help, “When there’s an obvious need, this community is good at stepping up and making sure the need is met.”
Other organizations, such as the Midland Theatre and YMCA, also offered help.
Thanks to all the organizations for stepping up to meet this need and best wishes to the club as it works to run its operations while rebuilding its center.
Celebrating 2021 graduates
The class of 2021 has had a high school experience like no other. The end of their junior year was basically taken from them and their senior year has been full of flux.
We take a moment here to congratulate all the graduating seniors for persevering through challenging circumstances to complete their high school education. We hope they remember that drive to overcome obstacles, as it will be a skill critical for success in life.
We are grateful they will largely get to celebrate graduation in a normal way – with family and friends. Enjoy today and go grab tomorrow.
- Jim Bidigare
- Olivia Biggs
- Jamie Holderman
- Tim Huffman
- Paddy Kutz
- Benjamin Lanka
- Jody Richter
Published in the Newark Advocate on May 23, 2021.