It may be unlikely, but the world could use a sudden outbreak of common sense right now.
The pandemic has made life difficult for everybody this year, but we could make things much better with a little judicious use of our brain cells.
One of the more obvious is to wear masks whenever we are outside our homes. Likewise we can and should minimize ventures into public — and especially avoid large gatherings.
The more painful examples of failure to follow common-sense guidelines include the huge South Dakota gathering of motorcyclists in early August. Something like 350,000 bikers made the trip to Sturgis this year and there have already been 260 Covid-19 cases and one death linked to the big rally.
That seems like a low number since that many people might contract the disease even if they didn’t go to Sturgis, but it seems likely that many more cases will be reported.
One of my good friends was a biker and used to make the trip to Sturgis every year, though he is now retired from biking. He has told me of some very enjoyable times at the big gathering in South Dakota and I have an idea what it means to those who go.
But when you see photos of all those folks in close proximity without masks it seems likely that there will be many more cases of COVID-19 and probably even more deaths.
It would seem an excellent occasion for bikers to exercise enough common sense to avoid the plague problem and skip such gatherings for a year.
Then we have the big question of whether to reopen schools and allow our young people to gather in classrooms rather than attempt to learn their lessons via Zoom or other electronic communication system.
Many teachers are reluctant to return to the classroom with the pandemic still raging and you can’t really blame them. Even many parents are worried about sending the kids to school and having them return home and infect the rest of the family.
You can’t really blame the reluctant ones and logic suggests that this might be a good year to postpone in-person school classes until a vaccine is available. Some experts think an effective injection might be available in November.
Getting a late start on the school year seems to make great sense this year. It could avoid many unnecessary cases of COVID-19 and the fatalities that accompany the outbreak. Deferring an important part of a child’s education is a serious thing, but there is a big difference between deferring it and canceling it. The time lost in an extended summer vacation can and should be made up.
Then, there is the question in Alaska and 10 other states of whether to require that the signatures on absentee ballots be signed by a witness. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer was expected to decide Friday whether to forego the required witness signature.
Hopefully he had the good sense to skip the witnessing this year since many people live alone and do not want to risk getting Covid by approaching someone to sign for them.
The pandemic should end sometime later this year, which has been a difficult one. This New Year’s Eve some people may want to offer a rude gesture as 2020 comes to a close.