A Delicate Situation
The world has been stuck for over a year, and our little neighborhood has borne the weight of it as much as any other. Many of our friends are out of work. Some have fallen ill and died. Many businesses have struggled and some have failed, including some of our local business supporters. The most severe effects of the pandemic will last way too long. Farther down the list of losses and things missed, we have been denied socializing at our Neighborhood Night Out and monthly luncheons, and neighborly waves and hugs have been suppressed or reduced to shouting a greeting across the street.
Still, we aren’t completely isolated. With masks and social distancing, we can still make it work. With the weather warming, we might meet in driveways and parks, for example. The CDC now says that those who are vaccinated can start taking the first steps: mingle with others who are vaccinated, without masks, and friends and family members can even hug one another. So… what now, neighbors?
The Rockies are back! The season opener was last night (CR 8, LA 5) and fans were in the stands. Some fans, that is. Limited numbers, masks, social distancing. “Opening Day” wasn’t like anything we’ve ever seen. The well-known baseball fan Dr. Anthony Fauci said, in an interview on CBS This Morning, that he hopes to attend a ballgame this year. Imagine! Could anything be a stronger signal that life could return to normal? The good doctor also predicted that his favorite team, the Washington Nationals, who finished last in their division last year, will win the World Series this year. This tells us not to rely too optimistically on predictions that “everything’s coming up roses!”
Signs of Life
Still, having hope is good. Without it, we would never move forward. As the community struggles toward regaining what has been lost over this strange and challenging past year, we can consider starting back up with one of the goals of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association, encouraging neighborly interaction. The Association is slowly and cautiously planning for events to begin again, to help people get to know and appreciate each other. We will start with resuming the monthly luncheons, but in an outdoor setting. We’ll start this next month, provided the COVID guidelines at the time will allow. Then, later in the summer, instead of the big-crowd Neighborhood Night Out event in August, we will sponsor smaller “block party” type events for neighbors to gather outdoors. Same for our “Evening Get-Togethers.” These have always been outdoors in the warm months, but we haven’t had one for so long; we miss them, and resuming them will be with all the proper precautions that may be appropriate at the time.
Slowly and Cautiously
At these planned events the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association will encourage masks and distancing between parties from different households, and following the COVID rules that will be in effect at the time, with thoughtful care. That includes the CDC guidance that when all parties in a group are vaccinated it’s OK to be in contact; that is the main thing that will allow these small steps toward regaining the neighborly community feeling that we all love so much about Southern Gables.
Can We Do It?
In his interview yesterday, Dr. Fauci set some expectations for the phase we’re approaching, with more and more of the population getting vaccinated:
“Please be careful. Don’t declare victory prematurely…. Every day that goes by, we get more and more protected. So what I say, and what [CDC Director] Dr. Walensky is saying is, just hold on for a bit longer, because every day is more and more in our favor and don’t pull back prematurely. We are gonna be able to pull back… but don’t pull back prematurely”
We’re going to be careful, hold on longer, follow the rules, and not start our gatherings rashly or prematurely. But we will begin to join in again as neighbors and friends.
Details on resuming these social events will be included in a newsletter that will be passed out to all Southern Gables and Valley View residents next week. Watch for it!
I think events should be for those who have been vaccinated. It is too hard to understand people wearing masks when some of us need to read lips or stand closer to hear them. Kathy Davis