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Play It Safe This Evening

Is there anyone among us not eager to ring out this particular old year? We doubt it. Hardly had 2020 gotten off to a good start before the COVID-19 virus made its appearance in the United States.

New Year’s Eve traditionally is a time of celebration, and we can still have that. But for many, it also has been an evening of merriment among friends, often accompanied by copious quantities of alcoholic beverages.

That is not a good idea this year.

First, of course, there is the problem of drinking too much, then getting behind the wheel of your car or truck. “Too much” may be just a few beers or mixed drinks. Three in an hour will put most people over the legal limit for blood alcohol content. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, that likely will mean a night in jail.

The result could be even worse — an accident in which people are injured or killed.

Know your limit, understand it may be less than you think it is, and stick to it if you are planning to celebrate in any way tonight, then drive home. Better still, take a cab or find a designated driver.

Many area residents ring in the new year with a night on the town or a festive party at home. Neither may be a good idea this time around, especially if alcohol is involved.

Alcohol lessens our inhibitions. In other words, it makes us less cautious, more likely to be reckless. Social distancing? Who cares? Face coverings? They get in the way. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces? Hey, this is a party. No time for that.

Talk about an open invitation for the coronavirus to join the party …

Well, so what? The friends with whom you plan to celebrate are all relatively young and in good health. Even if someone catches COVID-19, it will be no big deal, you tell yourself.

Probably not — for you and your chums. But we are well into the “community spread” phase of the deadly disease. Millions of Americans with few or no symptoms of COVID-19 are carrying the virus and passing it on to others. At some point, perhaps a dozen transmissions down the line, the virus you get and pass on may find its way to an older person or a young one in ill health. That could kill them.

Trust us on this. We enjoy a good time as much as the next person. But we do not relish the thought that our New Year’s Eve celebration may kill someone — perhaps a family member or friend.

Throttle back the plan for tonight, then. Perhaps plan a New Year’s in July celebration that can be held safely once enough people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Play it safe — for yourself and others.

Have a happy, healthy new year.

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