Yea: One thing that Gov. Larry Hogan and County Executive Jan Gardner agree on is that residents are pretty split between those who want the state to open up and those who want the COVID-19 stay-at-home order to continue. Both said as much in press conferences this week.
But, at least as it pertains to Frederick County, Gardner wants to slow down the implementation of Hogan’s Phase One. Gardner, who said she didn’t know until Tuesday that the governor would give the county some flexibility in reopening businesses, churches and other activities, said her decision was driven by local health data. Other counties in the region are doing the same thing.
In Frederick County’s case, this means some reopenings, such as curbside sales, manufacturers, car washes and pet grooming can happen now with some restrictions. But houses of worship and salons and barber shops, for instance, will have to wait until May 29, assuming that there aren’t other setbacks to further a delay.
For those who wanted a complete reopening, it’s not the news you were hoping to get. On the other hand, we suspect there will be others who look to the numbers and to comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci to contend that we’re moving too fast. As Hogan and Gardner pointed out, no matter what they did, there’d be people who are going to disagree.
But our takeaway in all of this is that the governor was right to give counties some control over these decisions. The virus’ impact is very different county to county in Maryland. So applying the same approach to say, Garrett County and Prince George’s County, isn’t wise.
Today is the day Hood College’s latest class of graduates were supposed to have walked across the stage to get their diplomas. Instead, they will do it virtually, with a video shown on Facebook and YouTube featuring clips of speakers and a scrolling list of graduates.
For Hood grads, and for grads from high schools, colleges and universities across the country for that matter, the ceremonies this year are going to be anticlimactic. COVID-19 has made sure of that.
And while schools and parents are doing everything they can to celebrate the hard work students did to earn their degrees, we’re nevertheless pretty bummed that this Class of 2020 won’t have the same recognition that others have had.
Our hope is that down the road, once the country opens up a bit more, schools might consider an in-person celebration, maybe a better-late-than-never graduation. That's what Hood is planning, with an in-person ceremony planned for Oct. 10.
At Mount St. Mary’s University, a committee recommended that the university forego a virtual ceremony, and instead, wait until an in-person celebration can be held, even if that meant several small group celebrations.
We like these ideas. In the meantime, we hope folks go out of their way to congratulate a grad. They deserve it.
It’s great when a community cares about its quality of life.
That’s why it was a good decision by the Frederick Board of Aldermen to keep money for arts and other nonprofit organizations that support Frederick’s quality of life in the city’s fiscal 2021 budget.
The funds in the community grants program help carry out the missions of organizations like the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, local production company Phenomenology, New Spire Arts and the Frederick Arts Council, among others. It’s not a lot, but the cash will help keep these groups afloat, and it is support that is desperately needed in these uncertain COVID-19 times.
Louise Kennelly, the executive director of the Frederick Arts Council, said it best when she called the arts an economic driver and the “driver of economic vitality.” We couldn’t agree more and we hope that public officials will be able to find ways to remember these kinds of organizations as we anticipate finances further tighten in the future.
Yea: High school athletic trainers play critical roles, whether it be assisting with workouts or helping an injured athlete.
But when you take away a spring sports season, or traditional schooling for that matter, these contract employees suddenly have no job.
Two local athletic trainers, Urbana High’s Mike Monahan and St. John’s Catholic Prep’s Meghan Gray, found a way to use their training to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Both are currently employed at the Pepsi warehouse in Columbia, conducting temperature checks on employees as they arrive for their shifts. While they point out that their role in preventing the spread of the virus doesn’t come close to the level of work doctors and nurses perform every day in hospitals, we’d point out that it’s yet another way people are finding a way to help. We’re glad they found a way to put some of their skills to work to keep people safe.
This column was updated to include information about Hood College's plans for it's in-person ceremony.
Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to email@example.com.