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NWHL a brief relief from COVID burnout

Hosting the National Women’s Hockey League during their “bubble” season from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5 is a needed relief from the very real affliction of COVID-19 burnout — even though spectators are not allowed to watch the games in the Olympic Center.

More than a brief distraction from everyday pandemic living — in which many residents are still cooped up and travel is limited, and almost nonexistent for foreign travel — the NWHL season is a sign of hope that some events can continue through this health crisis. Which events, we don’t know, and Lake Placid is bracing for a summer similar to the one in 2020: few if any special events, tons of tourists and crowds of hikers in the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

We count our blessings. Most of us haven’t contracted COVID-19. Students, for the most part, have been able to attend in-person classes at school. Some sports were able to be played over the summer and fall. We can still go shopping, go to the gym and restaurants, enjoy outdoor activities and spend quality time with our immediate family members.

Yet we also have to be realistic. The coronavirus pandemic is still raging across the globe, meaning thousands of people are still getting sick and dying. New strains of the virus threaten vaccine efforts. Vaccine production and distribution are not where government leaders said they would be at this time. And the isolation of hunkering down to avoid people and the virus has taken its toll on the mental health of millions of Americans.

Yet something as simple as watching a professional women’s hockey game livestreamed on Twitch.tv — being played just down the road — can lift our spirits, even for a moment. And for that, we’re thankful.

As we head into another challenging year, we’ll continually count our blessings, follow COVID health and safety guidelines and try to resist the temptation of traveling and gathering in large numbers. What else can we do if we’re going to weather this storm? The Lake Placid News wishes you all the best of health this year.