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Buice column: Will we ever be able to hug and shake hands again?

In some ways, it seems like it was only yesterday, but then again, it feels like it was a long time ago.

A year, in fact.

COVID-19.

Life as we once knew it changed beyond anything we could have ever imagined with the arrival of the novel coronavirus.

I remember hearing about that “virus from China” that was starting to show up in the U.S., and the next thing we knew it was taking hold — forcing rapid restrictions to slow the spread and creating a “new normal” that no one could have imagined.

Surely, it would go away a few months or so, we thought.

Boy, were we wrong.

March 12, 2020, is when everything started to shut down, and cancellations in all facets of our lives started to rule. COVID-19’s grip included a shocking wave of sickness and deaths that recently surpassed 500,000 in the U.S.

Who would have ever imagined the toll it would take?

But there is hope. More shots are going into arms while the numbers of those getting the virus are trending the other way.

Finally.

Still, many questions remain.

Will we ever be able to shake hands again? Or hug?

Or move on from the constant concerns of wearing a mask or not? And then there’s maintaining the proper social distancing.

And so on, and so on…

• • • • •

Speaking of that “new normal,” it felt so good to return to the old normal and going to a live baseball game the last weekend in February when some of the government restrictions were eased.

I was in attendance and there for the first pitch when limited capacity crowds were allowed for Wake Forest’s ACC opener against Notre Dame.

I can’t tell how good it felt to be in that setting again — even with the masks and social distancing still in place.

That was after whiffing on even having a season or much of anything else in the year 2020.

I enjoyed it so much that I went back for the game the next day and had the added bonus of walking just across the way to the other side of the football stadium later to see some of Wake Forest’s tennis match against Virginia — a battle among two of the nation’s elite collegiate programs.

I figured I might be spending a good amount of time this spring at David F. Couch Ballpark — which used to be called Ernie Shore Stadium when Minor League Baseball was played there years ago — so I decided to buy a baseball season pass and looked forward to the next weekend when Boston College was coming to town.

Then word came down in the middle of last week that the series wouldn’t be played because of some COVID concerns in the baseball program.

The lingering pandemic just refuses to let go.

Let’s hope it’s just a brief pause before more baseball in this case and all the other things we enjoy being a part of our lives again.

• • • • •

When Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough stopped by village hall for a recent Clemmons Village Council meeting, he was actually coming home.

“I love this area because it’s home,” he said. “I live right down the street.”

Kimbrough came by to provide an update about a new outreach initiative that will include security improvements through “real-time” intelligence where cameras will be placed throughout the community.

Actually, this intelligence paid off in a big way when there was a deputy-involved shooting that resulted in a fatality last year right in the heart of town on Lewisville-Clemmons Road.

“The Mock Tire camera was very instrumental in capturing everything as it happened,” Kimbrough said. “So from that, we have deployed cameras throughout the community.”

He hopes that the cameras will add additional eyes to monitor to the community, but before departing to allow the council to conduct the business on that night’s agenda, he added hearing concerns from local deputies about speeding in Clemmons and said he wanted to an add “an extra patrol out here” to address it.