Over the weekend, with the success of yet another long-running community event returning to Lawrence County following the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us see the light at the end of a long, lonely tunnel.

Courtland held its 44th Picnic in the Park on Saturday—one of the two large community events has seen this year following the Strawberry Festival in Moulton. As many of us see this as a signal things are returning to a pre-pandemic normal, some health officials are still concerned we could see an uptick in cases in the coming weeks following Memorial Day weekend celebrations. 

In reports across the state this week, one UAB infectious disease doctor warned that though 36% of Alabama’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, it may not be enough to quell the spread. “Somehow, the messaging from CDC that only vaccinated people can be safe without a mask got lost in translation,” Dr. Michael Saag said. 

In Lawrence County, we’ve been very fortunate to see case numbers remain comparatively low. However, as we emerge into this next phase following the end of quarantine and the end of masks orders, remember to be courteous of those who still choose to wear a mask or keep their distance. If you are unvaccinated, consider wearing your mask in crowded spaces, especially indoors. 

We are all ready to close the door on the pandemic, but it isn’t quite time to throw caution to the wind. There are still traces of the spread throughout the country and in our own state. While we hope the experts have this one wrong, and we hope we do not see another surge in cases over the next week, keep masking and social distancing recommendations in mind. If you haven’t gotten the vaccine, consider doing so. We hope it’s finally time to get out for a fun, social summer.

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