Are we headed in the right direction?

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial

Since March, everything has been new. Most of us haven’t experienced a pandemic like COVID-19 and all the side effects that came along with it.

Each day of each month for the last five months as brought a new challenge from not knowing the threat of COVID-19, to realizing how dangerous it could be, to businesses closing and reopening, to the start of school.

None of it looked like it did when December 31, 2019, turned to January, 1 2020.

But just like anything, the virus either has had or will have a climax and then it will start to decline.

Right now, there is still so much unknown about the antibodies to fight the virus and whether we can get it again or whether there will be a second wave this fall with the combination of the flu.

But, we seem to be in a downward trend of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

After going through a difficult June and July where percentage of positive cases were greater than 10 percent, both locally and statewide are now below 8 percent again, which is much closer to the early numbers in March and April when it was on the rise.

The difference now, is the numbers have gone from a peak down to those numbers, meaning it’s currently on a decline.

It’s hard to know if those numbers will continue to decline as we head toward the fall and cooler weather when most people tend to get sick, but there are plenty of positive signs to look at.

The recent decline as come during a time many expected an increase in cases.

Students are back in hallways across the state and roaming college campuses, many businesses are back open and sports have resumed.

But even with all of that close contact, most people have started doing their part by wearing a mask when out in public or around someone from another household, which truly looks to be making a difference.

Now, the Shelby County School system, which started on a staggered schedule of half the school going Monday and Tuesday and the other half going on Thursday and Friday, is transitioning to their “Back together” phase.

Students choosing to do in-person education instead of virtual will now be in class together five days a week.

It was a decision made because of the low-percentage of new cases within the school system to start the school year.

It’s another slow step in a marathon return to normality, but one that will hopefully spark the next step and so on. Right now, we’re still in a bit of a grey area, but as more answers come out through the remainder of this year, we hope they continue to be positive.