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Make July 4 a time to reflect in age of COVID-19

Saturday is the Fourth of July and for many people, it will be the oddest Independence Day of their lives as a great number of communities canceled festivities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

There are some Upper Peninsula towns that will still have celebrations, some not as massive as usual.

But whether your Fourth is filled with barbecues, games and fireworks or you stay home to celebrate this year, we hope each and every one takes time to reflect on what we’ve all been through so far in 2020 and what lies ahead.

The safety measures taken for the fight against the coronavirus have been stricter in many places than anything most anyone can remember. Some bristled at having to follow these guidelines and some still refuse to wear a mask when in a public setting where social distancing isn’t possible.

We are not looking to debate that issue.

What we are hoping, though, is that as people reflect, they think about how lucky most of us in the U.P. have been during this pandemic, not having it strike someone we know and love.

Please, for a minute, consider the thousands of families in the United States and the half-million plus families around the world who have had someone die from COVID-19. What they wouldn’t give to have another chance to avoid coronavirus exposure.

The top medical experts are telling us the spread of coronavirus is far from over and we need to continue diligence in our daily lives for our own protection — and for the protection of all those around us.

If we do, perhaps what remains of this most unusual year will be less frightening.

The last line of the Declaration of Independence, the document that will be quoted time and again this weekend, says it this way: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

That’s right: things will get better if we all work together.

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