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Remember COVID-19 is still here

We get it. The days are getting warmer, and many people want to get back to at least a semblance of normalcy.

I’m one of them. I was looking forward to spring last year, and instead, I found myself shut up in my house when I wasn’t performing job duties that had become very stressful and time-consuming.

So this year,  I am really glad it’s spring and plan to take advantage of it by spending more time outdoors in the ensuing months.

But I’m  well aware that COVID is still out there and is still a threat, especially as more dangerous variants emerge around the world and in Monongalia County.

And, after a slowdown, cases have started to rise again. On Thursday, the state reported 433, the first time that figure had topped 400 since Feb. 26. And then Friday, the number rose to 499.

So even though I’m fully vaccinated, I’m still playing it safe for now.

I still wear my mask when I’m around just about anybody other than close family. I still wash my hands a lot. 

So when will I return to the in-person, pre-pandemic activities I used to do? I haven’t set a date. I’m taking it day by day.

Because that’s how a pandemic works. 

We get it that people want to do some traveling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers recommendations on how to do that safely at If you were contemplating a cruise, the CDC strongly advises against it.

Those restrictions might be a bummer for some. But I prefer to look at the progress that has been achieved.

 If we continue to be smart about our choices, how much better it could be this time next year.

Mary Wade Burnside is the public information officer at Monongalia County Health Department. You can reach her at