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EDITORIAL: Put safety first this weekend

EDITORIAL: Put safety first this weekend

Covid, traffic and crowds getting out of the house could make this a dangerous weekend.
EDITORIAL: Put safety first this weekend
Kayakers head out to Fish Creek on Saratoga Lake in Saratoga Springs on Friday, May 22, 2020.
Photographer: Erica Miller/Staff PHOTOGRAPHER  

Three-day weekend.

Perfect weather.

Everyone itching to get the heck out of the house, see some people and get some our normal back. But we’re not living in normal times, no matter how much we wish it to be so.

Remember that when you venture out to the home-improvement stores, grocery stores and the downtowns and the beaches.

The coronavirus is the gorilla in the mist, and we can’t let the sunshine and warmth make us forget that it’s still with us, still contagious and still dangerous.

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So remember to practice the social distancing skills we’ve all come to know, especially as outdoor places get more crowded this weekend. 

If you’re on the jogging or bike path, you’re likely to encounter more people than you did a week ago during your early morning exercise routine. Wear the mask or keep it handy and be ready to pull it up over your face. Make a wide path around others so your heavy breathing doesn’t catch them.

In the stores shopping for Memorial Day food or home projects, follow the store’s rules, including the one requiring you to wear your mask. At home or in the park, social distance around the picnic table or the campfire, keep those chairs far apart, and wipe down surfaces that people are breathing on.

But it’s not just covid that places us in harm’s way this weekend.

Memorial Day is a traditionally busy time on the roads, and from many accounts, people’s driving skills have suffered during the past two months.

 

Drive like you did when you commuted to work, with your eyes on the road and off your phone. More motorcycles, more pedestrians and cyclists, and more drunk and careless drivers could make this a particularly dangerous weekend on the roads.

To motorcyclists, be especially aware of your own rusty driving skills and of the fact that motorists might not be used to seeing you out there. The guy in the car or truck is least likely the one who’s going to die hitting your motorcycle as you make a left in front of him or drift into the opposite lane.

And if safety isn’t your top priority, then beware that police are stepping up patrols this weekend to catch reckless and drunk drivers.

On the lakes, many people will be unloading their boats into the water for the first time.

Follow boat safety protocol to avoid collisions with other craft. Don’t drink while you’re operating your boat. Don’t overload. Wear life preservers at all times. Follow rules for slow boating near docks and beaches. The cops will be out looking for you people, too. And if you’re encountering fellow boaters on the docks, milfoil cleaning stations and fuel stations, wear your masks and be considerate.

We all need to realize that in addition to the usual threats that long, warm weekends bring, we have this disease still in full force.

Enjoy yourself this weekend. But put safety of yourself and others first.

GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGE

The Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.
Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.
Thank You
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