When Gov. Larry Hogan ended his press conference this week with his plea to “just wear the damn mask,” most of us had a good chuckle at the colorful language from the state’s top executive. But as we’re now seeing, Hogan’s plea is no laughing matter.

COVID-19 numbers are rising again, with the number of infections and hospitalizations at levels we haven’t seen since the height of the pandemic in April and May. And because we haven’t done a particularly good job as a nation to stop the spread of the virus, Hogan’s words are now not a mere suggestion. On Thursday, Frederick County, as well as other jurisdictions across the state, tightened up mask requirements, including implementing fines for those who violate the order.

We’re hoping it’s not the threat of a fine that’s going to get people to wear a mask — it should just be that wearing one might save a life by helping to prevent the spread.

One of our pet peeves has always been when government fails to be transparent when it comes to information the public should know.

It’s why, for instance, we’ve railed on the Maryland Department of Health for not releasing county-by-county data concerning flu infections. (And, so far, to our disappointment, nothing has changed.)

But to be fair, MDH, at the urging of Gov. Hogan, has been very good in making sure we’ve had detailed information about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it breaks down by local jurisdictions. The latest example came this week when MDH added information about COVID-19 outbreaks in school buildings on its coronavirus dashboard.

The data is updated every Wednesday morning, and we see it as a good attempt to make sure the public knows what’s going on at schools. This is particularly important info as state school boards struggle with the idea of returning students to brick-and-mortar classrooms.

Oh, and for the record, no Frederick County Public Schools are on that list through this week.

Jessie Graff’s followers — us included — had to figure something bad was set to happen the next time the Urbana High alum appeared on TV to continue her long-running quest at “American Ninja Warrior” spoils.

Her Instagram hints were too hard to ignore in August, mere days after the series wrapped taping in St. Louis. She posted videos from an operating room. She informed her fans about surgeries to repair her knee and shoulder — leaving out how the injuries occurred.

Sure enough, on Nov. 6, those watching the Season 12 “Ninja Warrior” finals saw Graff’s attempt come to a screeching halt on Falling Shelves, which shelved the popular stuntwoman. Damage was done to both of her shoulders on the obstacle, she told the News-Post on the night the show aired. And, by the way, she also tore up her knee during a different taping.

But, never fear, said Wonder Woman’s stunt double: After the 11th, 12th and 13th surgeries of her lifetime, she’ll be back for her eighth season on the show. And we’ll be back to watching.

Seems like it was just a year or two ago that Gov. Hogan led the charge to start the school year on the traditional time frame, right after Labor Day. But the 2022-23 school calendar the Board of Education approved Wednesday night misses that mark by a mile.

The board OK’d Aug. 17 as the first day of classes in 2022, though originally it wanted Aug. 10 as the start date. The last day of classes will be May 31. The result of the earlier dates, we understand, will be to give students more full weeks in school, a week-long spring break and more time for students in class before AP exams. The schedule also lines up a bit better with Frederick Community College’s opening that the board believes will help students who are taking classes in both places.

While all of these things are laudable goals, we can’t help but lament that this seems too early for school to be starting. Maybe it’s just that we’re getting old, but shouldn’t the middle of August be more a time for family vacations, swimming at the beach or the pool or long days of play with friends rather than a day in classes? We sure think so.

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

DickD

Governor Hogan has never supported Trump. Most likely he will run for POTUS in 2024.

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