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Letter from the editor

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The world is a little uncertain right now.

Who am I kidding? Things have been in a perpetual state of uncertainty for the last 18 months. Pandemic life never got normal, nor has this new allegedly post-pandemic world we all live in now.

And yet it seems so close. Events are gradually being rescheduled again and we're looking at an autumn and winter calendar packed full of events we love and missed so much last year. It feels so good to be back in the world again, to bask in the sun on the Hops on Birch patio with a beer, to dance with others at Hullabaloo and to walk through the streets of downtown for the First Friday ArtWalk. Kids went back to school in-person! I hesitate to admit it, but it even felt nice to see Milton Road packed and the never-ending lines return to Target with all the students back at NAU.

But we may be on the verge of losing it again. 

The number of new COVID-19 cases are surging yet again, as is the number of deaths. We're seeing masks requirements make a return and Flagstaff's venues are rolling out vaccine requirements later this month. Hell, we at Flag Live! even hesitated to keep the theme of fall festivals events for this issue out of fear they'd all get cancelled before it hit the stands. We opted to limited it just to September just to be safe as there's no way of knowing what October will hold.

This is how it started last time, remember?

We had a taste of normal — or whatever this new normal is — and yet somehow I worry we're about to blow it. Do we really want to do this again? I know I don't. 

How do we keep it, you ask? The answer is simple — get vaccinated. Only 56.6% of Coconino County residents were fully vaccinated, according to county data reported Aug. 20. How is it this low? The vaccine has been available for months and it's free! Not to mention the FDA recently approved the Pfizer vaccine, declaring it safe for use, which should (in theory) should have squashed any lingering hesitations.

I know I'm screaming into the void, though. Will a message from me convince people to get vaccinated? Probably not. But if science doesn't convince you, maybe the threat of losing all the art, music, shows, festivals and everything else we know and love in Flagstaff will.

Do you want to go to Oktoberfest in October? Maybe see a show at the Orpheum or watch some 21-year-old baby drink too much during Tequila Sunrise? What about snowboarding at Snowbowl this winter or watching the pinecone drop from the balcony of the Weatherford Hotel on New Year's Eve? 

Then get vaccinated. 

As always, thank you for reading.

Bree Burkitt is the Editor of Flag Live!. Reach her at bburkitt@azdailysun.com or 928-556-2262. Follow her on Twitter, @breebukitt.

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