The new year – 2021 – is shining light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel.

Today, vaccines are going into the arms of older Americans and those who work on the front lines, literally risking their lives every day to help others.

There is approaching light, but the darkness is not over yet. Medical experts continue to warn in the strongest terms that it will be several months until vaccines are widely administered and we begin to see the tide turn on this nasty virus.

So today, we can make our first resolution for 2021. Let us resolve to do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during our New Year’s Eve celebrations on Thursday night.

We can do our part to help prevent the scourge of 2020 from entering our new year by doing all the things we learned over this past year — wearing a facial mask if we are close to others — even our best friends — washing our hands frequently and unfortunately, but wisely, keeping our social distance from others who do not reside in our household.

Sorry, no kisses for everyone at midnight.

If we need any incentive to practice these health safety guidelines, we don’t have to look any further than our local hospitals, where more than 200 people continue to recover from COVID-19, including dozens of our friends and neighbors who are in intensive care units, some using ventilators.

Neither they, nor the medical professionals, those outright heroes who care for COVID patients every day, will be able to attend celebrations welcoming the start of 2021.

We must not let our guard down on New Year’s Eve or during the weeks and months ahead.

So when the clock strikes midnight on Thursday night, we might resolve to remember those we lost in 2020, think about those who are ill right now, give our thanks to the medical professionals, first responders and essential workers who have taken care of us, and offer a prayer for a brighter and happier new year.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and members of the community advisory board. Today’s was written by Digital Editor Dave Hilliard.

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