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City plans summer activities with or without COVID-19

The City of Elizabethton is planning to move ahead with its summer activities in the hopes that COVID-19 cases will be down. On the schedule is Covered Bridge Days, the annual July 4th Celebration, and concerts in the parks as well as Shows on the Doe. Also, the city is planning to open the Franklin Pool this summer.
With the number of cases and hospitalizations down and the vaccine rollout picking up steam, the city is optimistic that Summer 2021 will be different than last summer, when everything was cancelled, including summer baseball. It’s not going to be anything magical, but there is hope.
As we move into spring and summer, we do so with appreciation and hope. While no one expects the changing of a single digit and the swapping of one page on the calendar for another to resolve all the problems wrought by COVID-19, spring and summer offer new hope and a new beginning.
If things go as planned it will be a welcomed respite from the gloom and doom of a pandemic that locally has claimed 151 lives, forced us to stay at home, saw us stop shaking hands and hugging one another.
We stopped to appreciate the things we had long taken for granted, that all at once had become problematic: air travel, live events, public gatherings, dining out, theaters, shopping malls, grocery stores, family reunions, church homecomings, school graduations and end-of-year trips. Swimming pools were closed. People instead scrambled for cleaning supplies, masks, and toilet paper.
However, it was a summer and year that taught us some valuable lessons. We have learned a new appreciation for those charged with providing health care, for those serving as first responders, for those who maintain law and order in turbulent times. For all of those in “essential jobs.”
We have learned that educators will do whatever it takes to provide a path to academic achievement for those with whom they are entrusted.
There are, indeed, earthly angels among us who have shown us in many, many different ways the importance of caring for one another.
We’ve also learned to be resilient, determined, committed, and capable of surviving in tough times.
And we have learned that with each new day comes renewed hope. Just as spring follows winter, and the rainbow after a storm, so comes faith in a new day and a new season, hope that the COVID-19 vaccine offers. Hope for a better world and hope for humanity.
The coming of spring and summer will not eliminate the ravages of COVID-19. It will still be there, seeking whom it may devour. We must still be cautious about the virus, wear our face masks, wash our hands often, and practice social distancing when we can, and yes, get the COVID-19 vaccines.
We must hope and have faith that the summer of 2021 will be different than the summer of 2020, that we can look ahead rather than through the rearview mirror. It’s not going to be anything magical, spring and summer offer hope, and it’s good to have hope.
It’s not just wishful thinking…there have been so many pandemics in our history, and everyone of them ends at some point and that’s the silver lining that we need to keep in mind here: that this will come to an end.