When the state and federal governments jumped in to give extra financial help to the unemployed during the peak of the pandemic, we were in favor of it. That extra $300 a week from the state was important to those who needed the support.
Even as the economy improved, we were good with the idea of erring on the side continuing those benefits a bit longer as a safety net. But with so many employers desperately looking for workers, it became clear that it was time to stop paying the extra stipend.
On Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the enhanced pandemic benefits would end within 30 days and the state would also reinstate work search requirements to make sure the unemployed are looking for work.
The unemployed will still receive $430 from the state each week, which we agree isn’t a lot. But this pandemic-related incentive needed to end.
Every day, our inside news pages contain a chart that reflects the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed by the state health department the previous day. If you’ve been paying attention to those charts, you’ll see the daily numbers have fallen to the single digits here in Frederick County.
It’s a pretty remarkable turnaround from where we were as recently as six months ago when we were seeing hundreds, sometimes more than a thousand, newly confirmed cases daily across the state along with dozens here in Frederick County. But the combination of vaccinations, masks and social distancing has done wonders in tamping down this virus.
We shouldn’t be ready to put up the “Mission Accomplished” banners just yet. but we should be happy with how life seems to be getting back to normal. It’s about time.
And as for those charts in the news pages, it’s likely that we will stop printing those charts pretty soon or at least scale back publishing them to once a week, and then, we hope, eliminate them completely, though we’ll keep telling the story of the pandemic as necessary.
So much can be learned from our past. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Frederick’s rich history provides a multitude of opportunities to learn from our predecessors. Walk by Brewer’s Alley at the right time on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll see the popular ghost tour beginning its trek through Frederick’s downtown to teach about the most haunted spots in the city.
If you want something else, the Civil War museum, Heritage Frederick and a host of others offer tours. Looking for something outside of downtown, Middletown has tours. You name it, Frederick County has it.
Many of these tours were featured in this week’s 72 Hours, which can be found in print or online.
As John Lustrea, education coordinator at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, told us: “With a lot of the downtown, so many of these buildings are quite old. They have modern businesses in them, which is awesome, but they have all these untold stories. There’s history around us everywhere.”
This one’s for the dogs, cats and other family pets who will become saddened as their humans return to the office.
Animals are creatures of habit and have gotten used to us being home all day and night. Many of them, maybe not the cats, love the extra attention.
But with change, comes anxiety, stress and more.
“Nobody does well with the flip of a switch,” Linda Shea, director of Frederick County Division of Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center, told reporter Mary Grace Keller.
So be mindful as you return to the office. Just like we need time to adapt, so do Fido and Princess.
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.