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Editorial: Wearing masks and getting vaccinated could bring us closer to a normal football season
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Editorial: Wearing masks and getting vaccinated could bring us closer to a normal football season

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Iron Bowl 2019

Auburn fans during Tiger Walk before the Auburn vs. Alabama game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 30, 2019.

At an outdoor gala last week for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County, Andy Burcham, the radio voice of the Auburn Tigers, had a question for the audience during an on-stage interview with Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin and Athletic Director Allen Greene.

Was everybody ready to return to a football season with tailgating and a packed Jordan-Hare Stadium? The response was an enthusiastic and unanimous yes.

We agree. We’re ready.

From the standpoint of a healthy economy as well as the general morale and welfare of our community, we all need to get back to tailgating and filling up those 87,451 seats. We want to feel the magic again.

Meanwhile, the Delta variant of COVID-19 threatens this return to normal, something we’ve taken for granted most of the summer.

Over the past month, the number of people infected with COVID-19 has skyrocketed in Alabama, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the United States. COVID-19 hospitalizations at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika and EAMC-Lanier in Valley have more than quadrupled in the past month.

Last week, Auburn City Schools and Opelika City Schools decided to require its students, teachers and staff to wear masks indoors. That made some parents angry. On Monday, Auburn University announced it was also mandating mask-wearing indoors for students and faculty and anyone on campus.

We agree and endorse these decisions, and we encourage anyone whose doctor clears them to get vaccinated to do so. It may not seem like it, but wearing masks and getting vaccinated brings us closer to tailgate parties and a full-capacity Jordan-Hare.

Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Let’s make some sacrifices right now so we can win this fall.

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