By Scott Carlson

Weathering the Covid pandemic

“How could getting a haircut turn into such a big deal?” I wondered to myself.

Normally it wouldn’t be.

But plenty of people couldn’t help but notice the change in my appearance after my trip to the barbershop on May 27: It was my first haircut in almost 15 months.

Sitting in the barber’s chair, in the span of 20 minutes, I went from a wannabe-looking rock star to nearly a boot camp-appearing recruit. I called my hairdo the “Covid cut,” a shearing and trimming that came after I decided it was safe again to get a haircut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially, I cautiously proceeded to extend my social and business errands as Covid vaccinations became available and mask wearing mandates and other social restrictions eased off. My slow re-entry into the world was due to not knowing whether the danger of freely circulating in public was really subsiding.

Additionally, I couldn’t forget that my mother died of complications of Covid in May, 2020. Her death grimly reminds me that more than 600,000 other Ameri­cans have suffered a similar fate.

During this past year, the Bugle has devoted extensive coverage on the pandemic with some 30 stories chronicling the impact that COVID-19 has had on, among others, nursing homes, schools, churches, retail shops, restaurants, bars and community recreation programs.

So, in the midst of a lot of death and sacrifice, even being able to do some of the littlest things, like in pre-pandemic times—having a haircut—seems like a significant victory.

Still, since this past spring, I have also returned to doing a few other things. I am playing indoor tennis, eating out and worshipping in church, all without wearing a mask.

In this issue of the July Bugle, we share more stories of community resilience in the midst of the pandemic. Bugle freelancer Eric Erickson tells how this difficult school year abruptly ended in June but that graduating seniors at Como High School found a way to hold a special celebration.

And freelancer Sarah CR Clark shares the story of how the Durkee family started monthly concerts on their front lawn as a way to support musicians during the Covid period and offer up a recreational breather for their neighbors.

Let’s hope these stories are signs of better things to come. And here’s hoping that I won’t have to wait 15 months for my next haircut!

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