Yea: For far too long we’ve had to use this space to give a big thumbs down to all things COVID, so it was nice this week to finally have something to celebrate.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that a vaccine is on the way and could be in Maryland as soon as next week.

Rightfully so, front-line health care workers and the residents and staff of nursing homes would be first in line to receive the initial batch of 155,000 doses coming to the state. Another reason to celebrate is these vaccines have proven to so far be more than 94 percent effective. As we get more details, we’ll let you know.

More doses will arrive in the coming weeks, so until then, make sure to social distance, wash your hands and wear a mask.

Nay: Unfortunately, we couldn’t just ignore the frightening news that Frederick County and the state are both seeing spikes in new cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19. One day this week, Frederick County reported 58 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, its highest number yet. Until last weekend, we hadn’t seen more than 41. Frederick Health Hospital has 239 total beds, meaning it was using nearly 25 percent of its beds for COVID patients.

We are now regularly seeing more than 2,000 new cases a day in Maryland — some days more than 3,000 — when just a few weeks ago we were averaging fractions of that.

And our national experts — the same ones who said back in the summer to expect a spike in the late fall — are now saying this latest wave will only get worse into January. As much as we might hate having to deal with this pandemic, we can’t get complacent. Eliminating risks and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines are more important than ever.

Yea: During the pandemic, groups such as Blessings in a Backpack and I Believe in Me have stepped up and shown why they are so important to our community.

Blessings sends food home to children who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. And I Believe in Me, saw a need for families who were going hungry and has been holding weekly food distributions for months.

Both groups were in the news this week for reasons worth recognizing.

Blessings, a local chapter formed in Frederick seven years ago, became the organization’s seventh national chapter. That’s a big deal and will mean the Frederick program will be able to grow and serve even more children.

Hundreds of cars lined up for this week’s I Believe in Me food distribution, but the volunteers stepped up and got everyone in and out in about an hour. Founder Aje Hill estimates about 500,000 pounds of food have been given to families in need since the onset of the pandemic.

Between that and the 25,607 bags of food Blessings has distributed to children in the county since the start of the summer, that’s a lot of families that have one less thing to worry about during a very difficult time.

Yea: Congratulations to the county’s new delegation leaders. Del. Karen Lewis Young (D) was elected to be the group’s next chairwoman and Sen. Michael Hough (R) will serve as vice chairman.

The upcoming legislative session in early 2021 — assuming it happens — will be a critical one. It will be important that the county’s delegation serving in Annapolis works together to make sure Frederick County’s needs are heard and served.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to letters@newspost.com.

(1) comment

Dwasserba

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