Spring brings hope but COVID remains

While the grouchiness and general unease many of us may have been feeling three or four months ago may have dissipated a bit, it’s pretty clear from what we can see from a recent discussion at city council, not to mention throughout this issue of Lebanon Local, that we’ve got a ways to go yet with this COVID thing.
The good news is that Lebanon schools went to full days earlier this week. High school and youth sports are on the rebound, even though many athletes haven’t had the training and reps that they normally would by this point in the year.
But hey, considering where we were six months ago, we’re not complaining and neither are they. Seeing the joy on kids’ faces just to be interacting with their classmates and getting a chance to throw balls around, to run around the track, is a sight that will be a memory to be treasured.
It’s springtime and it’s even better than usual for the reasons stated above.
Of course, we’re seeing a surge in those numbers (page 13) that dominate our daily lives, whether we like it or not, and that’s concerning. Linn County is already up to “High” risk again and, for obvious reasons, we don’t want to see the numbers go higher.
We’re certainly thankful that state officials have eased the restrictions for schools, giving local folks more authority to control the situation that has impacted our kids’ lives in very direct and difficult ways. And of course, there are still many concerns, voiced by officials on this very page.
We’re thankful, though, that organizers are strategizing how they can make the Strawberry Festival happen. That’s healthy.
Frankly, the complaints we’ve heard incessantly for months have dissipated a bit as local groups and individuals have cautiously moved ahead to points closer to normalcy. Art galleries are opening to viewers. In-person events – including local government meetings – are beginning to happen again.
That’s healthy too. Even though Lebanon has been forthright in its attempts to be transparent in the way it conducts public business – it was one of the first local cities to begin streaming its meetings, for instance, Zoom meetings are not the way to go for open government. Technical glitches can easily put a public body at risk of violating open meetings laws, and – well, it’s just easier for a lot to go wrong when meetings are held on computer screens.
Vaccinations will be available to everyone on April 19, and we can only hope the numbers come down and naysayers are mollified in upcoming weeks. Life with COVID has been tough, as we all know. We likely will have a much clearer understanding of its impacts when we get a chance to really look back.