Lightening the viral load

A virus doesn’t celebrate Christmas. It doesn’t know or care who has been bad or who has been good.

Like a leaky dam, it behaves like water seeking any crack or crevice regardless of how inconvenient or dangerous that might be. And like water seeping through a dam, the cracks tend to expand as things get worse.

After months of a relatively low number of cases, Douglas County was hammered by the virus. In one week Nov. 23-30, cases went from 39 to 467 active cases. While we expect to hear more details on the reporting changes, we’re talking to people who have tested positive and it’s quite serious.

Most frightening is that many people can’t point to a time, person or location where they were exposed, which makes it doubly difficult to track down the source of infection and somehow quell it.

So that leaves us building walls between ourselves and our friends and neighbors, whether those be masks, distancing, or literally holing up in your house.

But while health officials are tending to our physical and mental health, there’s something more that needs tending.

In the military it’s called morale, and we know folks could use a boost. We’d hoped that the Gardnerville fireworks or the Parade of Lights would do the trick, but those dice came up snake eyes this week.

But there are things we can do to literally lighten up this darkest season in this dark year.

Even now, people are cooking up ways and displays that celebrate the holidays leading up to Christmas and the New Year. We’re an ingenious lot, and nothing tests genius like adversity. Now’s the time for us to look to the past, and the future for new ways to celebrate, and decorating for Christmas is a wonderful activity.

We don’t know what it is about brightly colored lights that makes us so happy and we don’t care. It’s sufficient that they do, and that those lights proliferate during the longest nights of the year.

To do our part, The Record-Courier will list Christmas displays anyone wants to share with us and their neighbors. Send us a note at

Stay well, be careful, but by all means celebrate.


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