It may be a new year, but the High Country and the rest of our nation is only yet creeping toward the levels of COVID-19 vaccination that will mitigate the ills of 2020.

With extended stay-at-home orders and venues such as our library system walking back public openings resulting from increasing pandemic numbers, it’s clear that each of us needs to still follow medical recommendations — wash, wear, wait — for the time being.

How long that time will be is tbd — none of us has insight into a specific date that will mean we can shed our masks for good, and although it could be argued that increased hand washing and giving each other a bit more public space might be something we want to carry forward, we like to have a choice, and not a mandate, about such things.

“Pandemic fatigue” may be the watchword of the day, and it certainly will enter our lexicon from now on, but the race is far from run. For now, let us continue respecting the health and needs of our neighbors — for neighbors they are today, and will be also once we have conquered this public medical emergency.

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