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DeNeal: Life returning to normal as pandemic threat lessens

Posted on 6/4/2021, 1:00 AM

It's been a while since things have seemed normal pretty much anywhere, but it's looking better all the time.

The requirement of wearing masks in many places has been disappearing as more Americans have received vaccinations against COVID-19. Gatherings are starting to happen with greater frequency. During the Memorial Day holiday, I observed children playing on playground equipment at a local state park. Prior to that, in Harrisburg, a "family fun night" was held at Harrisburg Township Park where I also observed children using playground equipment.

More than a year ago, most playgrounds and other recreational facilities were roped off, with signs noting that use was prohibited at the time.

At one time, it was a concern to make a trip to the grocery store and worry about whether a person remembered to bring a face mask. I have a hunch that over the course of the next year, the many cloth face masks with varying designs and features will be relegated to an unused drawer or storage box. If anyone's preparing a time capsule, a spare mask may make a tremendous inclusion.

There are still some remnants of the global pandemic around. Some businesses or institutions may require masks as a precaution. With the number of flu cases decreasing significantly, I won't be surprised if we do see some masks this fall and winter, as well. Plus, I've seen many more people mowing lawns wearing a mask, not to prevent COVID-19, but as a way to keep from breathing so much dust and pollen that can trigger allergic reactions.

Hand sanitizer is offered at deep discounts at many places as well, so now is the time to buy if you want to stock up.

And, it looks like remote learning for most young people will become a thing of the past. One encouraging thing about remote learning, though, is how teachers were able to accommodate the concept quickly and make it work. For many teachers, remote learning essentially meant doubling their efforts, especially if they had both in-person classes and remote learners.

Any time life gives us an obstacle, we learn how to overcome it or at least go around it. We find a new way and sometimes a better way. Maybe it's not the best way, but maybe it was the best option at the time.

Regardless, normal looks to be coming back, maybe with a few improvements.