CULTON: The light at the end of the tunnel is coming

The year 2020 has been a dark time for many.

Since COVID-19 hit the country earlier this year and March resulted in the closure of businesses and a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” mandate, many have been left without jobs, without direction and in isolation.

Many of us, myself included, felt lost, and with each extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, the hope that life would ever return to normal seemed to diminish more and more.

But now we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I first began to see it this weekend. After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced groups of people 10 or fewer could gather, the change was palpable. Suddenly, I saw friends and families gathered outside, grilling on the back porch or playing a game of catch in the front yard. Many took the opportunity to celebrate Memorial Day and remember those who gave their lives for this country. The simple act of being allowed to gather with loved ones lifted a weight off of people’s shoulders.

In addition to the weekend’s activities, Tuesday, retail businesses and auto dealerships were allowed to open by appointment, allowing up to 10 customers inside at a time. And Friday, medical, dental and veterinary practices will be allowed reopen for non-emergency procedures.

Though the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has been extended through June 12, the light at the end of the tunnel, and the hope that comes with it, will continue to grow larger as more restrictions are lifted.

All that said, we still need to be patient. Although I understand how much we want to go back to normal and how much we want to enjoy our summer activities as usual, the pandemic is not over yet. We still need to take precautions to protect our neighbors and ensure the curve of COVID-19 is sufficiently flattened.

So, keep the hope alive, and your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, as our state slowly reopens. Soon enough, things will be back to normal.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 119,597 cases, 6,700 deaths

Buchanan

Buchanan City Commission candidates partake in forum

Buchanan

Buchanan Planning Commission considers multi-million dollar development

Cass County

Cass County Animal Control to host Empty the Shelters event

Business

Swirlyz Frozen Yogurt closes for the season due to COVID-19 setbacks

Buchanan

Local orchard offering fresh products, cider for fall

Cass County

Committee formed to review Lewis Cass ISD name

Dowagiac

JMG Student of the Year starts second year at SMC

Dowagiac

Hale’s True Value Hardware donates paint, cleaning supplies to DUS

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County announces additional COVID-19 death

Buchanan

Buchanan welcomes new city manager

Brandywine Education

Performing arts organization creates scholarship fund

Dowagiac

Positive COVID-19 tests force cancellation of Moose Riders’ Cass County Cancer Service Ride

Berrien County

Veterinarian ticketed following discovery of dead animals on his property

Dowagiac

SMC to produce radio show featuring Dewey Lake monster

Business

Niles Apple Festival Harvest Market aims to showcase vendors, food trucks

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 117,910 cases, 6,680 deaths

Berrien County

Niles man gets probation for criminal sexual conduct

Berrien County

Public Safety Warning issued following multiple vehicle break-ins in Berrien County

Dowagiac

DUS approves hire of new Sister Lakes assistant principal

News

Niles Charter Township board approves millages for ballot

Buchanan

Buchanan Art Center donates more than $1,500 to RAM

Dowagiac

DUS approves ICG site improvement plan

News

Niles pastor takes vocals to park