CLEVELAND — Even with the largest spike yet in coronavirus cases Saturday and the projected peak coming soon, the light at the end of the pandemic in Ohio could be coming, even if it is ever so slowly. With that hope, however, comes the familiar warning from state and local officials: maintain social distance.
Saturday's perfect, early spring-like weather sent people out in droves to the various parks around Northeast Ohio. The clear blue skies followed snow the day before.
"It's starting to get sunny, starting to warm up. People are inside, which they should be, but they are going to want everything to go back to normal, which is really not the reality of this," said Inspector William Holland from the Summit County Sheriff's Office. "The reality is that the virus is still out there and people are still getting sick and people need to use caution when they are out."
Peter Truog and his wife, Christine Skovira, didn't need the reminder. The couple joined two of their friends Saturday evening at Cleveland's Edgewater Park. In a wide circle, the group maintained six feet of distance.
"We're happy to be outside, especially after the snow on Friday," Truog said. "It just matters, trying to do the right thing. I think that's what everybody is trying to do right now. Who knows how long it will last? Until we hear otherwise, I think it's the right move."
The spring day was the backdrop of a massive increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases, which rose by more than 1,000 on Saturday. Although less than originally expected, the peak is likely to come soon. Earlier this week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that state, local and business leaders would be nailing down what the 're-opening' of the state might look like next month.
"I think the leadership in Ohio has done a great job. I hope it is super gradual. I think it would be worse to have a second surge to where we need to go back and mentally re-adjust again to a tighter stay at home," Skovira said. "I hope that people don't have to go through the trauma of what New York and some other cities are seeing for us to get smart."