Summer is canceled
I’ll bet you never thought you would see a headline like this: “Summer is canceled.”
While that may be a little stretch of the imagination, it’s beginning to look like it isn’t far off.
As much as I look forward to summers in Minnesota, I must admit I am not with this upcoming summer.
Much of my summer is tailored around summer celebrations and festivals in the great communities that we cover. For the past month, every edition has had a story about a major summer event being canceled. First it was Medford’s Straight River Days. The next week Ellendale came along with the cancellation of Ellendale Days. Last week Owatonna nixed the Wenger Band Festival. And now this week Blooming Prairie has scrapped the Fourth of July celebration (except for the fireworks) and Freeborn County has shuttered its “six best days of summer” fair. What will help us enjoy the six best days of summer in early August?
Graduations have also been scrubbed for 2020, at least the in-person kind that we have all grown to love and adore. I feel awful for this year’s graduating seniors. I can’t imagine not having a graduation ceremony. They have been wrapped into the fabric of society for ages.
By the way, National Night Out, a crime celebration in many neighborhoods across the country, has also been upended this year. It hasn’t been officially canceled yet, but rather moved to October.
I don’t even want to think about the Steele County Free Fair and the Minnesota State Fair. I’m afraid those are going to be the headlines in the next few weeks.
Where will this end, and when?
I am typically an optimistic person, but I’m afraid the answer to the latter question is no time soon. It seems the COVID-19 crisis is wreaking havoc on many aspects of life and testing our internal optimism meter. We are in this for the long haul whether we want it or not.
If there is one consolation in all of this, thankfully we have technology on our side. I can’t imagine what life would have been like back in 1918 when the Spanish Flu wiped away 50 million people. There were no computers, cell phones, Facebook, internet or any other social media. At least now in the 21st century, we are able to stay connected with one another in what I often look at as a less than desirable way, but it’s a connection.
It’s time we rally together to find other ways of staying connected. And I give a lot of credit to many groups and organizations in every area community for doing just that. There have been many great ideas with parades and other activities to help us through this crisis.
As the celebrations continue to fall one by one, I just hope someone can go in hot pursuit of finding a vaccine to stop all this nonsense. Sooner rather than later would be my preference.