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Don’t throw precautions to the wind

After more than a year of pandemic-related precautions, it sure is good to see some things starting to return.

As more is learned about the novel coronavirus and the treatments for COVID-19, more people get vaccinated, and positive cases continue to decrease, some parts of what many would consider “normal life” are starting to return. One of those components of normalcy is having fun events in the community that everyone can attend if they are feeling well and are not at high risk for severe complications from COVID-19.

Recently, the Isle of Wight County Department of Parks and Recreation held a demolition derby and carnival at the fairgrounds. This was a nice, all-outdoors respite from the isolation of recent months. A truck and tractor pull was also planned but had to be canceled due to weather.

Over in Franklin, a car show kickoff that draws participants from across the Tidewater area featured more than 100 vehicles and plenty of spectators that were itching to see some beautiful vehicles and sunshine — or, maybe, just something besides the inside of their own home.

While these outdoor events are fairly low-risk, and the positive impact on everyone’s mental health will certainly be beneficial, we do want to remind everyone that the pandemic is not over yet, and it is still possible to get COVID-19 even if you have been vaccinated (though you are much less likely to get it, and less likely to get a severe case if you do).

Therefore, we encourage everyone to continue taking the precautions that have been encouraged for more than a year now:

Get vaccinated for COVID-19 if you haven’t already. If you get the first dose of a two-dose course, go back for your second dose. You can find opportunities at vaccinefinder.org.

Wear your mask when indoors, or when outside in a large crowd or gathering where you cannot keep six feet of distance between yourself and others.

Keep six feet of distance whenever possible.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, get a test and isolate at home while you are waiting for the results. If you do test positive, notify your close contacts that they should quarantine and be tested.

Although this virus is mainly spread through the air, it’s still a good idea to keep washing your hands with soap and water when you have been in contact with others or with high-touch surfaces in public areas.