• 72°

Safety in numbers possible with guidelines

On Saturday, a group of residents demonstrated that it is possible to be in the presence of a large group of people and observe the guidelines set by the governor and other officials to protect the community from COVID-19.

People with masks — and some without — lined up six-feet apart to buy fresh tomatoes, strawberries, locally produced milk, cheeses and other fresh products at the farmer’s market on Broadway Street. All of the vendors wore masks. Signs were posted politely asking customers to refrain from touching produce and remain socially distant when waiting their turn.

The more than 200 people who showed up did their best to comply with the requests and few people lingered after they bought the produce they sought.

A large crowd, like the one that showed up Saturday morning might easily unnerve those who are concerned about the virus. For those with comprised immune systems or any complications that leave them vulnerable to COVID-19, we understand such concerns. We would recommend anyone who is anxious, to avoid any large gatherings.

If we could criticize one thing about Saturday morning’s farmer’s market, it would be that we wish more customers would have worn masks to help protect themselves and to help protect others.

Saturday’s event demonstrated that large outdoor events are possible as long as people respect others by staying social distant, wearing masks and refraining from loitering.

As long as federal, state and local leaders continue to reopen the state, how well we continue to observe the guidelines will ultimately determine how successful we are at keeping the virus at bay.

The virus does not abide by any rules set by leaders. Only we can do that and we must if we want to keep our community open and operating safely.