Bye-bye pandemic but hello to changes

The "normal" that is set to return on July 1 may not be as normal as many would like

As June comes to an end this week, so does the last set of emergency orders that has placed restrictions on much or our way of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. So does the both truncated and extended high school sports season compressed a full athletic season into six months that ran from late December 2021 to the third week of this month.

Canon Professional Services, which provided expedited service for those of us who use their equipment, is returning several pieces of my equipment this week and will be put to work for the July 4th weekend.

Carilion Clinic is also providing maintenance work on my aging and tired body after a season the brought some injuries from misdirected baseball and softballs and a battle with heat stroke that hit on the last game of the Lady Buffaloes season in Glenvar a little over a week ago.

The challenge may come from which wears out first: My body or my photographic equipment.

Our 2002 Jeep Liberty has more than 200,000 miles on it, much from driving to various events that I have covered over the past 16+ years as a contract newspaper reporter and photojournalist for the three chains that have owned The Floyd Press during that time. Some 100,000 plus miles put on my 2009 Harley came from journalism duties

The Press is on its third editor during that same period. Long-time editor Wanda Combs retired and was replaced first by Ashley Spinks and then by current boss Abby Witt. The paper’s office moved to the other end of Floyd’s Main Street after owner BH Media, owned by billionaire owner Warren Buffet, continues to sell the offices of off what remains of the old Media General chain that used to own the paper.

On July 11, Floyd’s internationally-known Friday Night Jamboree returns to its indoor stage and dance floor after more than a year of silence and darkness from the pandemic. FloydFest returns as well, along with the Galax Fiddler’s Convention and the big Carroll County Flea Market and Gun Show.

July 1 starts the new fiscal year in Virginia government. Court juries, which has had the right to set sentences for defendants they judge as guilty lose that right on July 1. Judges will now set the sentence after a pre-sentencing report is prepared.

The new fiscal year begins what will be a three-year phase in of legal marijuana purchase and use, but that doesn’t mean you can buy grass and smoke it openly on July 1. Buying and selling the drug remains illegal until Jan. 1, 2024, except for medical use.

The pandemic may be over but the problems it created continues. Many who once had jobs remain unemployed because many employers have either gone out of business entirely or found new ways to produce their work and products without fewer employees.

Credit report agencies report increased late payments by those who will face a rash of dept collection lawsuits in the coming months. Too many people owe past-due electric bills that run int thousands of dollars, while utilities like Appalachian Power were forced by regulators to suspend disconnections. In July, most utilities will be demanding payments that some probably cannot make.

An unknown number of restaurants and retail establishments will not reopen on July 1. They could not survive the shutdowns.

An old cliché says “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Not this time.

1 thought on “Bye-bye pandemic but hello to changes”

  1. As always, Doug, thanks for your words of wisdom. As I am healing from brain surgery, the last six months have felt anything but normal. For the second time in almost 4 years, I have lost my home and virtually everything I owned. I remain COVID free. I’m not sure what the new normal is. This arbitrary end date of COVID restrictions doesn’t feel normal so when I go out, I will continue to wear a mask, wash my hands more often and maintain social distancing. Much love to you, my friend. We are still here.

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