Our return to normal has taken a detour and is looking like it will be stuck in traffic for some time.
This sad realization comes just as I'd removed the last facemask from my car because ... why not? ... I hadn't worn a mask in well over a month. Now I'm supposed to dig all those masks out again? At least I have a decent collection.
All the national news reports I'm hearing indicate the latest iteration of the COVID virus, this delta variant, is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses ever studied by scientists. Well that stinks like a dead dog.
Whatever happened to the claim that this virus would disappear after the election? Those were the good ol' days.
Sure it was silly when everyone was saying it, but it's one false statement I wish would come true. If we say it enough on social media, I thought it was supposed to happen.
So the election is long over and I'm still hearing about COVID. And just when I was gearing up for this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival over Labor Day weekend, now I'm wondering if the concerts will take place at all. If COVID causes the cancellation of Bonnaroo for the second year in a row, we should declare war on China and that Wuhan lab.
The seven-day average of new COVID cases is up 53% from last week, according to the CDC. Hospitalizations are up 32% in a week and deaths are up 19%. That's all very bad news.
Things are heading in the wrong direction as children prepare to return to school. The storyline that we might have a school year where students attend in-person classes five days a week now looks like it might be more of a fairytale.
The NFL is already bracing for COVID headaches this fall ahead of its regular season which starts in September. The league warned all 32 teams on Thursday that they could be made to forfeit games if they experience a COVID outbreak among nonvaccinated players.
The NFL said no games would be rescheduled under this circumstance with players from both teams not getting paid. The league has not made vaccinations mandatory, but the NFL and its players association are both strongly encouraging all team officials and players to do so.
As you'd expect, NFL players who don't want to get the vaccine are mad about the league's stance on COVID.
The Warren County School System is all too familiar with mask mandates and the unrest that accompanies asking people to do something they don't want to do. If this COVID virus has taught me anything it's that some people do not like authority and won't do what they're asked simply as a form of rebellion.
Put away the champagne and don't air up the balloons. Anyone looking to celebrate the end of COVID, has arrived at the party too soon. We're closer to returning to masks, for those who will wear one.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.