The Globe’s Point: Stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day

We may sound like a broken record with this one, Pioneers. 

But today is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a holiday that celebrates Ireland and the man St. Patrick himself and often involves big gatherings with lots of drinking. 

The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to last year’s and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pittsburgh—an event which is known for being bombastic and, at times, rowdy and dysfunctional. But that hasn’t stopped people from putting together their own celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day. 

We know why there’s this impulse to celebrate. Canceling an event two years in a row is a real disappointment. There is a lot of hope with these new vaccines. We’ve been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year now. Shouldn’t things go back to normal now? 

We’d like them to be normal again. We really would. But that simply is not the reality that we’re living in right now. 

States are not lifting mask mandates and loosening restrictions based on health experts’ advice; they are caving to social pressure and fatigue. In fact, they are pleading with Americans to remain vigilant with previously stated guidelines, to continue wearing a mask, social distance and stay safe. While trends for new COVID-19 case counts and deaths are declining, the pandemic has by no means been eradicated. Thousands of new cases and dozens of new deaths are announced nearly every day by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. And, in the last year, we’ve seen that complacency and relaxing restrictions has led to terrifying spikes. 

We have made as much progress as we have with COVID-19 because a good number of people have acted responsibly and in the interest of the public good. At Point Park, students, faculty and staff have, on the whole, behaved remarkably well during the pandemic; there have been a little over 100 total positive cases reported among the campus community as of Monday, March 15. 

So, we’re asking you, Pioneers, to stay the course. Sport your greenwear and celebrate quietly with your roommates if you have to. Think about how in a few years, you’ll be able to honor the Irish holiday like you used to. But don’t put people’s lives at risk with a St. Patrick’s Day party.