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.