Sandwich 4th Of July Parade 2018

Spectators line Water Street in advance of the Sandwich 4th of July parade in this file photograph from 2018. The parade is back on this year.

As new COVID-19 cases continue to spiral downward, things are changing rapidly around us.

The pace can be a bit unsettling, even unnerving, but it’s all for the good.

Starting Saturday, May 29, Massachusetts is taking a giant step toward fully reopening.

For most of us, the most significant change to our everyday lives will be that facemasks will no longer be required in most settings.

This is huge. A friend joked recently that she has been wearing a mask for so long she will need to relearn how to apply lipstick, to which another friend quipped that he will have to start brushing his teeth again.

For the first time since the pandemic put us all in lockdown and pushed us six feet apart, young athletes last week were finally able to take the field without a mask.

“That was so awesome,” one young baseball player remarked to us last weekend about being able to play without a mask. “It was awful having to wear that thing during sports. Trying to breathe, getting all sweaty. And with the pollen season, sneezing in your masks. Awful.”

We can relate.

The easing of restrictions will allow this year’s high school seniors to have a prom, a senior barbecue, and a year-end beach day before wrapping up their high school experience with a traditional graduation ceremony.

Performance venues are reopening all around us, and so are summer camps. Bars, too. The Barnstable County Fair is returning to the fairgrounds in July and the Falmouth Road Race will be run in-person in August. We are zipping right along toward the new normal.

We got even more good news last week with Sandwich selectmen voting to greenlight the town’s annual July 4th parade. So many towns around us have entirely given up on this year’s Independence Day celebration. Kudos to our selectmen for making this community-wide celebration happen.

We’ve been through so much during the past year. It’s nice to have some things—both big and small—to look forward to.

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