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Here’s to a safer, much healthier new year for all

Disastrous old year? Well, Happy New Year! The 365 days of 2020 are melting away, about to be gone forever.

Will we wake up tomorrow in a brand new world, fresh and clean of the worst of the past? Or will the past continue to haunt us well into 2021?

Some would say there are many things to forget about what has been an unpredictably unbearable year — politics, divisiveness, the spread of a deadly virus that killed 335,000 Americans and untold numbers of small businesses.

Even though we wash away the old and ring in the new, it’s not time to discard our newly learned practices of social distancing, masking and hand washing (something we really should have been doing all along — doesn’t anyone listen to their mothers?)

It will not be a surprise if months of pent-up frustrations prompt many people to blow off more than a little steam in New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight. The evening is viewed by many as the one time of year when they let their hair down.

There is nothing wrong with having a little fun, of course. But there is plenty wrong with putting others a risk.

While many businesses where normally people would gather to ring in the new year will be closed tonight, there’s bound to be private parties where plenty of people will be drinking.

If you plan leaving home to celebrate this New Year’s Eve, we beg you: Don’t drink excessively, then get behind the wheel. Know your limits and don’t go beyond them. Use a designated driver for your group. Call a cab.

Our wish is that this New Year’s Eve our better selves will prevail. Wouldn’t it be nice if we shifted the focus tonight from enjoying the party to making more meaningful New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps we replace the age-old pledges to lose weight and stop smoking with another idea more relevant to the times.

For 2021, let’s all resolve to continue to stay strong while awaiting freedom from the coronavirus. Let’s do our part, no matter how big or how small. And yes, let’s resolve to keep our hands out of the cookie jar — we suspect it’s been too much a source of comfort during the unbearable year that is about to be over — and at least hold the line on our weight.

Yes, resolutions often are tied to goals of health.

That said, we wish you and your loved ones, your colleagues and businesses, your neighbors and those around you — everyone — a safe and healthy year ahead and a restoration of “normal” in 2021!

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