It's been almost a year since we all added some new words to our vocabulary. Coronavirus and COVID-19 weren't words that the majority of us had ever heard but now we all wander around speaking about infection rates, death tolls, social distancing, and face masks like we've been using words like that all our lives.

Fast forward to this week and those words are once again part of our local city government's decisions about what this year will look like for El Paso residents. Turns out, it's more than likely going to look a lot like last year. City officials said yesterday that the goal of herd immunity is probably not going to be reached until 2022. Because of that, Quality of Life amenities will probably not reopen until then.

Four new waterparks were scheduled to open in 2020 but that was pushed to this year. Will they reopen sometime this year? That depends on COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers, and those numbers depend on people wearing their masks and not gathering in large numbers, as well as how quickly residents can get immunized.

Among other Quality of Life amenities that could also have to wait to reopen until later this year or possibly next year are public libraries, museums, recreation and senior centers, the Zoo, and the even the streetcar. El Paso’s Chief Financial Officer, Robert Cortinas, spoke with a local news station and said that we might not see things returning to “normal” until later this year, and a fully re-opened El Paso might not happen until early next year.

Now more than ever, we need to follow the health guidelines we are all so tired of, but it will help us get out from under the COVID pandemic and begin to move forward.

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