Nightmare ending, see you in September


Vaccines are feeding hopes of returning to some sort of pre-pandemic normal. Gov. Whitmer has stated if 70 percent of the Michigan population gets vaccinated we can lift the restrictions and open our state once again.

And that, of course, is wonderful news. Yet, we have seen plans change in the past, politicians and doctors have flip-flopped like a fish thrown on shore when it comes to COVID-19!

Certainly though, things are getting better. If there is one thing we all need it is returning to some form of normallcy.

“So you will have your Outdoor Weekend right?” asks my friend Joe Seaman.

“Ahhhh, yes, but at this point we’re still a little worried,” I told him.

It’s well understood the health of our citizens is far more important than any outdoor show, please don’t take us wrong. But there comes a time when we have to get back to business, back to work. We must do all in our power to remain safe, although for the sake of sanity let our outdoor businesses open up completely.

In an article written by Justin P. Hicks for Mlive, he lays out the Gov. Whitmer’s plan.

That means the state needs about 5.67 million residents to get their first shot. As of Wednesday, April 28, about 4 million residents had begun their vaccination, or nearly 50% of the eligible population.

If vaccinations rates stay on a steady trajectory, it’s estimated that Michigan would reach the 70% threshold this summer, likely June or early July, according to models developed by the University of Michigan.

However, the number of shots going into arms per day has started to decline in recent weeks as vaccination efforts have moved from residents who rushed to sign up for appointments to those who consider it less urgent or are hesitant to get vaccinated.

“That’s a best-case scenario and it’s probably not going to happen as we start to see a slowdown in uptake,” said Marissa Eisenberg, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan who assists the state with infectious disease modeling.

“It’s clear we’re seeing a slowing, which makes it really important to make sure people feel comfortable getting vaccinated, and that it’s convenient.”

If vaccination rates drop down to half or even one-third of the daily averages from the last three weeks, Michigan could be looking at August or even September before it reaches 70%. And even then, it would be two more weeks before restrictions are lifted.

“It’s tough to say when it’ll happen,” Eisenberg said. “Hopefully the MI Vacc to Normal announcement, it’ll give us a boost in people going to get vaccinated.”

Under Whtimer’s plan:

● Two weeks after 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents) over 16 get one dose, in-person work will be allowed in all business sectors.

● Two weeks after 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents) over 16 get at least one dose, indoor capacity at sports stadiums will increase to 25%; indoor capacity at conference centers, banquet halls and funeral homes will increase to 25%; gym capacity will increase to 50%; and bars and restaurants will no longer be required to close early.

● Two weeks after 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents) over 16 get at least one dose, all indoor capacity limits will be lifted, but social distancing between parties will be maintained. Limits on residential social gatherings will also be relaxed.

● Two weeks after 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents) over 16 get at least one dose, the gatherings and facemask order will be lifted and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services “will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.” This details the vaccination rates Michigan needs to hit for COVID-19 restrictions to end.(source: State of Michigan)

“We’ll be back to normal by mid-summer,” Joe told me confidently.

“I’ve been to everyone of your Outdoor Weekends and I’m not going to miss another one,” he went to say.

Plans are in place and we are confident we will be able to hold our Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend, September 11, 12 and 13.

We have new events planned, and, of course, many of the traditional events many have enjoyed over the years.

This nightmare is almost behind us now!