Maryland was scheduled to enter the third phase of the coronavirus recovery plan Friday night and, despite some trepidations, we’re optimistic that we’re moving forward with reopenings.

Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement Tuesday, allowing movie theaters and live entertainment venues to reopen at 50 percent capacity, as well as permitting up to 100 people at indoor events and 250 at outdoor events.

We’ll freely admit that we won’t likely be the first to go see a movie or a local band play, but we’re excited that we’re on a path to the new normal. With the COVID-19 numbers improving significantly over the last month, it’s an understandable move from Hogan.

But this move doesn’t — and shouldn’t — end the practice of social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks. These precautions will be with us for a lot longer.

Public schools were back in session Monday, though not like any way we’ve seen in the past. Never has the word “homework” been used more accurately.

School officials are trying hard to make this work but there’s no doubt in our minds that students — particularly those of elementary age — would be better suited in the classroom. Don’t get us wrong, we understand and support the notion that kids should be in virtual settings for at least the beginning of the year.

But there’s another reason we hope this virtual situation ends sooner than later — that’s the technology gap some students and their families are facing. Whether it’s slow internet speeds, insufficient computer technology or some other imbalance, the playing field is not balanced. We know the school system is trying, but this inequity isn’t something it can completely control.

We know county government officials are looking into broadband access issues. But if virtual classrooms and virtual offices are going to be with us into the future (and we know they will be in one way or another), we have to do better.

Thanksgiving with the family can be stressful enough, so can you imagine what that could look like in a few months if we had to do it over Zoom?

An Associated Press story we ran Wednesday floated that premise. The idea was the pandemic didn’t subside and, in fact, got worse as we entered the colder months. So, instead of larger gatherings, families might have to get together online.

In preparation, AP quoted University of Texas disease modeler Lauren Ancel Meyers who urged everyone to get a flu shot, because “if flu spreads widely, hospitals will begin to buckle and ‘that will compound the threat of COVID. ‘ ”

“The decisions we make today will fundamentally impact the safety and feasibility of what we can do next month and by Thanksgiving,” Meyers said.

So the moral of the story is to follow those basic three steps: wear masks, wash hands, stay 6 feet apart. Now add to that, get a flu shot.

But can you imagine, fast forward 82 days to Thanksgiving, sitting across from your computer talking to your extended family while munching on turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes? Hardly. Though, now that we’ve given it more thought, we’re betting some of you are starting to plot that excuse for not having to visit the in-laws this year.

We always love it when a Frederick County business is featured on a national level. And we love it even more when that attention helps the business thrive.

Such is the case with The Hive Bakeshop in Brunswick. Sisters Rebekah and Sally Ontiveros co-own the artisan bakery and appeared on Season 3 of Netflix’s popular baking show “Sugar Rush,” which pitted them against three other teams for a $10,000 prize.

And since the series aired on July 31, the co-owners said they have seen an uptick in business. From people coming in to try the treats they watched the sisters bake on the show to asking for autographs, the Ontiveros sisters said business has risen close to 50 percent. A huge boon, especially during a pandemic.

If you haven’t watched Rebekah and Sally compete on the show yet make sure to tune in and check them out. The series is currently streaming on Netflix.

And if you like sweets, find out what “the buzz” is all about at The Hive’s store in Brunswick.

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

(1) comment


Finally, optimism! Very nicely written article.

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