Time to start getting back to normal
As we celebrated the kickoff holiday of the summer last weekend, the first day of June next week will be another date when life, hopefully, returns to more normalcy after the coronavirus has affected nearly every thing we do.
June 1 is the date when Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will ease a number of state restrictions put in place earlier this year as COVID-19 began to mount. Just some of the return to a semblance of normalcy that can happen June 1 will see baseball/softball practices begin (with games starting June 18), weight rooms back open, rodeos back in the arena, bars serving again, movie theatres, libraries and pools reopening, while the “gathering” number increases from 10 to 25.
There are crowd restrictions and other guidelines that go along with some of the reopenings listed above, but it’s a good sign that life may be looking a bit more familiar in the coming weeks.
The Imperial city council voted earlier this month to allow some baseball and softball teams to organize, and will be addressing the Governor’s June 1 Direct Health Measure (DHM) this Monday night at its Zoom meeting. No city facilities will be reopened until after the council meeting Monday, which happens to also fall on June 1.
Let’s hope the council members support at least some of the recommended reopenings. Imperial playground equipment remains off limits with caution tape around it, even as a CDC report last week says coronavirus “does not spread easily” via contaminated surfaces.
It’s time to get back to some normalcy. Don’t forget the benefits health professionals highlight that come from being outdoors. I believe Imperial residents are responsible in taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves, their families and others safe.
On another front, it’s been disheartening to read the accounts from other states that continue to restrict the reopening of churches—and are specific about that one institution. As of last week, some officials in other states still have these orders in place. Some church doors were locked preventing people from going in even for personal prayer.
I still haven’t seen a good answer for the church closings in these other states, either. Meanwhile, the big box stores down the street remain open with hundreds of customers in and out. No one is saying people “have” to go to church, but there are many who want to. As I wrote in an earlier column here, this is a time for more prayer, not less. Some of us prefer attending church rather than streaming a service online.
Despite all that, it’s also good to see those orders on churches being challenged in court. It appears some in “power” have forgotten the First Amendment.
Thankfully, in Nebraska, churches were never locked. We have been able to make our own choices at least on that First Amendment right.