We will be dealing with COVID-19 for at least many more months

Had your first shot? Both? Keep wearing the mask and practice social distancing. It's not over.
(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Have an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine shot? Let’s hope the vaccine will be there when you arrive.

A statement from the Virginia Department of Health Monday said the second shots scheduled to be administered at Blue Ridge Church on Roanoke Street in Christiansburg have not arrived:

Due to shipping disruptions from the winter storms last week, vaccine shipments have been delayed and the Blue Ridge Church will not have 2nd doses available Monday, Feb. 22. Check nrvroadtowellness.com for information regarding Tuesday’s plans.

–via The Roanoke Times

A friend of ours said he is looking forward to not have not wear a mask after getting his second shot.

His wait will be much longer. Have your shots does not reduce the need to wear a mask and practice “social distancing.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease doctor, says the masks we wear today may remain covering out faces for the rest of this year and into 2022, even with shots of vaccine.

“I want it to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat,” Fauci told The Washington Post. “If you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you’re going to be able to say, you know, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to wear masks.”

He adds that “we’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year, and God willing this Christmas will be different than last.”

As we get into the fall and winter, by the end of the year, I agree with the president completely that we will be approaching a degree of normality. It may or may not be precisely the way it was in November of 2019, but it will be much, much better than what we’re doing right now.

–Dr. Anthony Fauci

The bottom line is that even the experts can’t say when, or if, life will return to normal.

Is it normal that places like Floyd County has its school kids still learning online. School superintendent John Wheeler announced that students will be attending casses at the schools four days a week, starting this week, but will study online on Wednesdays while the buildings are deep cleaned.

Crowd sizes for those attending football games have been increased to 250 people, but Gov. Ralph Northam still won’t consider school bands or cheerleaders “game partipants” and must be part of the crowd limit size. Some school districts, including Pulaski County, are challenging that order from the governor.

So does a letter from three Southwestern Virginia lawmakers to the governor.

This is unfair to these students. Anyone who has attended a sporting event recognizes the important contributions of these groups. They are active and integral participants, not spectators.

Bristol schools say they will classify band members and cheerleaders “participants.”

Although we appreciate the governor’s consideration of the concerns raised by Southwest Virginia superintendents and lawmakers about the ability of our band and cheerleaders to participate in outdoor activities, we still believe the Executive Order is vague and unclear. Our band and cheerleaders are very clearly participants in football games and the amended Executive Order does not specifically address this issue, leaving us to draw our own conclusion.

An online petition, with more than 2,700 signatures — mostly from parents — calls on Northam to back down on his classificaion of cheerleaders and band members as “spectators” and consider them “participants” in the school sports.

“It’s very frustrating because they work really hard,” Jennifer Ducharme, whose daughter is a freshman cheerleader at Loudoun Valley High School, told WUSA TV news. “These kids have lost a lot. It takes away their self-worth and mentally it makes them feel like they’re not good enough.”

As a newsman who covers high school sports for The Floyd Press and other news outlets, I am considered a “participant” of team sports. So are other news personnel who cover the games.

Let’s hope the governor reconsiders his order as it applies for band and cheerleaders. They are important parts of the games.

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