This weekend we’ll see something we haven’t seen in more than a year: Big crowds gathered for an event.
After a one-year, COVID-19-induced hiatus, Super Bulldog Weekend returns Saturday, with thousands of people expected to turn out in Starkville for Mississippi State’s spring football game followed by Game 2 of the Mississippi State-Ole Miss baseball series.
While there may yet be some debate about the wisdom of large gatherings with COVID-19 numbers growing in many states and our failure to achieve herd-immunity yet, the threat of contracting the virus is relatively low in Mississippi and declines further with each vaccine.
For many, Super Bulldog Weekend represents a return to normalcy, an idea all of us cherish. Farmers markets in Columbus and Starkville will open soon. The St. Paul’s Episcopal Church May Lunch will return, picking up a tradition that spans more than 150 years. Countless other events, from small to large, will resume as well this spring.
The event signals the return of all sorts of events that were sacrificed — quite rightly — by the arrival of the virus, which, according to the state health department, has infected 308,521 Mississippians and claimed 7,127 lives as of Thursday. In the Golden Triangle there have been 13,951 cases and 328 deaths over that period.
Each of us can make our own calculations about the safety of attending events such as these, but the number of cases and deaths should serve as a reminder that, for many, there is legitimate cause for concern.
That is why, as these events commence, we urge all who attend to exercise some common courtesy by respecting the personal space of those around you. If you see someone wearing a mask, give them their six feet of space. No matter how you feel about the threat, wearing a mask is a small concession to make if it puts others at ease.
Remember: A big part of these events are the opportunities they provide for the community to come together. In that spirit of togetherness, we urge all to be considerate of the concerns of their friends and neighbors. Let’s make sure these events are the kind everyone can enjoy.
Respect and common courtesy go a long way in achieving that.