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Continue to be smart

A bit of normalcy has returned to Northeast Michigan, now that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has allowed northern Michigan retailers, bars, and restaurants to reopen –with several restrictions –after weeks on lockdown meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

With the trendlines of the virus moving in the right direction, Whitmer has decided businesses in the Upper Peninsula and most of the fingertips of the Lower Peninsula can accept customers again, so long as social distancing is maintained, employees are trained to thoroughly clean, and capacity is limited to prevent crowded spaces in which the virus might spread.

We’re glad to see that happen, and we hope Northeast Michiganders will come out in droves to support local businesses who have been deeply hurt by the weeks of lockdown.

But we also hope Northeast Michiganders continue to be smart.

As Whitmer said, we can’t let our guard down. The virus is still out there, still deadly. We can’t take for granted that we or our loved ones won’t get it just because we can sit down at a restaurant for a sandwich.

That means we should continue to wear masks when we’re in confined public spaces. That means we should continue to thoroughly wash our hands. That means we should stay home if we feel sick at all.

In the past, pandemic viruses have rebounded, and, as in the case of the Spanish flu a century ago, were more deadly on their second go.

So get out there, Northeast Michigan. Enjoy the bit of normalcy that has returned to our lives.

But stay smart.

And stay safe.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)

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