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Remember last spring when many people were hopeful that the pandemic would ease before Easter? Well, Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, and we are seeing another upswing in COVID-19 cases. Holiday decorations and sales seem to come out earlier every year, but perhaps that is getting a boost since Halloween was somewhat dampened by the coronavirus. We might possibly be seeing a solution to the pandemic on the horizon, but for now, it’s all about staying safe.

Most folks already have decided how they will celebrate Thanksgiving, and nearly all are taking some steps to avoid spreading or receiving germs. Christmas and New Year’s no doubt will be similar to that.

However, the holidays have a religious and moral basis anyway, and that doesn’t change with the rules for gatherings. Americans are known for their ingenuity, and they have found ways to connect with their family and friends without physical presence. Technology makes that easier, and sometimes too easy in normal times.

Multiple vaccines are very promising. With government-taxpayer help and the vast scientific resources of the drug companies, this is happening years faster than before. Some observers have thought finding an effective vaccine for the coronavirus would be impossible, but it now seems very likely. Also, manufacturing and logistics for distribution have been fast-tracked.

If things continue to progress as they are, some people could have immunity within weeks. Tamping down the pandemic will take months more, yet it seems quite doable.

Meanwhile, annual holiday events are being modified for the times we’re in. Some have been canceled, but others such as Casa Grande’s Electric Light Parade have been changed to allow viewers to come to stationary displays. Other events have been changed, as well as those in other cities. That will make the end of 2020 seem more normal.

For now, staying safe is priority one. We can only hope that 2021 is much more normal than the year we are about to end.

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