Monday, September 28, 2020

One Too Many


Goal for the day: getting dressed and going for a walk, even if a short one. Does anyone know if Dunkin’ still has apple cider doughnuts?

I have a question for you today: how much are you driving today, as compared to pre-pandemic times? The same? More? Less? If you have other drivers in your household, how have they been affected? Do you notice you are buying gas any less frequently?

Do have have teens in your household who drive? Do you have teens in the process of learning to drive? I have driven so little since March that the concept of getting one’s driver’s license seems like some kind of odd leap of faith. Sure, you can do it, but where will you need to go, exactly?

Would you say traffic is any better around Howard County? Is there such a thing as “Pandemic Driving” and, if so, how would you describe it?

I realize I lead a sheltered life. Not everyone can self isolate and plenty of folks are out there on the road because they must be. And some of you are out there using your changes in schedules to add in things like shopping and volunteering to help other people in need. I salute you.

Okay: here’s what is really on my mind: I’m worried that we have been experiencing far too many traffic fatalities among young people in Howard County over the last few years. That has nothing to do with the pandemic but, if we choose to take a hard look at it right now we might be able to use this strange period in time to address it in a more systematic way. What could we be doing better to prepare our kids for driving?

I haven’t done any research on this so I don’t have any numbers. But even one child lost is too much. We have so much affluence and so many opportunities here in Howard County and the rite of passage of being able to drive independently as a teen seems like a normal part of life. It shouldn’t be so matter-of-course that we put kids out there without the readiness they need to be truly safe.

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