Risky Fourth weekend reveling may hurt us all

Brace yourselves.

It appears we likely are set to receive a beating from the pandemic coronavirus that ground our nation, and much of the rest of the world, to a halt in recent months.

Don’t be surprised if the coming wave arrives in parallel with renewed restrictions on our leisure and work routines. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer already nudged downstate regions back a few steps last week when new infection numbers lent credence to concerns over a viral resurgence.

And it appears northern Michigan may be next.

The sad part is, the COVID-19 surge we likely will experience has far less to do with the virus’ virility and much more to do with our behavior. Throughout last week, infection numbers reported across the northern Lower Peninsula began to inch up.

Some of that rise was a result of increased testing in nursing homes, facilities particularly fertile for virus spread.

A small fraction likely was a reflection of our collective relaxing of social distance and mask routines.

Let’s face it, none of us is as careful today as we were in March when catastrophe seemed imminent.

Still, plenty of us entered the holiday week intent on relaxing carefully – gathering with small groups of friends, or enjoying some sun and water at our special hideaways.

But we can bank on the fact many infections reported during the coming weeks will be a result of Fourth of July weekend shenanigans.

It doesn’t take much more than a little common sense and a pair of eyes to see the recipe baking its way into our future. It’s a frustrating reality in which we find ourselves.

We have endured months of restrictions, some self-imposed, to ensure our summer season brought a return to something closer to normal. And we did a pretty darn good job. Infections were relatively few, and state-imposed restrictions eased here before anywhere else.

The idea of a single weekend triggering the kind of backslide we’re watching unfold in other parts of the state and nation is downright depressing.

We hope it was worth it.


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