Local downtowns and shopping centers were booming this weekend. Sidewalks were crowded and parking spots were at a premium.
Sure, there were lots of sales going on. That’s always the case on federal holidays, as national chains have long known that a holiday means people off work, meaning free time on hand.
Memorial Day events, including the groundbreaking of the Heroes Memorial in Kyle, were crowded as hundreds of people showed up. Friends who had not seen each other in more than a year were jubilant.
The reason seems to be that lifting the mask mandate for those who have been vaccinated just opened the floodgates. Sunny weather, no masks. That was the key to the plethora of people greeting each other.
One retailer in Buda said she had not seen so many people in her shop in more than a year. Were sales good? “You bet,” she said.
Outdoor bars were crowded, as were restaurants. On Friday evening, arriving diners had to wait more than an hour just to get a seat. Indoors and out, the places were packed.
Farmers Markets – whether in Buda or Dripping Springs – are seeing an uptick in sales and people. Shoppers wandered the areas, looking for local items; cash flowed.
The scary part, of course, is not knowing for sure who has had the vaccination. While scientists say that even those who are vaccinated can get COVID-19, the likelihood is that the symptoms will be lessened. So the real challenge is for those not yet vaccinated – mask or no mask is up to them.
As of the end of May 30, 2021, 44.2% of Texans have received at least one vaccine and 55.1% of all Americans have received the same. That means that more and more people will begin getting out and the economy will open up.
While talking to shoppers and business owners this weekend, those who were vaccinated talked about a weight being lifted from their shoulders. Shoppers who knew each other quickly called out to friends that they had not seen in months, “I’ve been vaccinated.”
And hugs ensued.
It seems the lesson is that people are tired of not touching, of standing far apart. They want to socialize, to shake hands, to share experiences.
They want contact with people other than in their households.
So, get your vaccination now if you are so inclined. Hays County commissioners said this week that not a single dose has been wasted in the county. But that statistic cannot last long as fewer and fewer people are showing up for the walk-up clinics. In order to save money and resources, the county is considering cutting back on the number of clinics being open.
It’s time to get serious and get your vaccination. Spaces are open in the clinics now, and the community at large welcomes the vaccinated back.
The economy is opening up, and friendships are being renewed. Let’s hope this trend continues.
The weather wasn’t great all weekend, as Friday night’s storm showed its fierce face.
Hays CISD ended up postponing Lehman High’s Friday night graduation until Saturday morning, and it was a good thing. Winds ended up blowing over the stage and toppling chairs. Those schools that did not postpone Friday night’s graduation ceremonies ended up evacuating the stadiums.
While parents complained that there was lack of planning, it is difficult to imagine that the school districts could forecast the weather. It was Memorial Day weekend, and anyone who has been here for years knows this fact – there could be storms.
We’d rather see events postponed than students struck by lightning. All in all, things turned out okay.
So, please, give the districts a break.
Instead, say congratulations to the students. They made it through a tough year and they are looking to their futures.