Be smart about live shows

Ohio is taking more steps toward returning to a new normal as Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week a plan for reopening performance venues. Concerts, plays, musicals and other stage performances will be an entertainment option again, with some modifications.

We should be used to that by now. It is no surprise that we will not be able to pack ourselves into stuffy theaters and (with apologies to some “Hamilton” fans) be so close to the stage we can see the saliva fly during a particularly passionate performance.

Instead, the guidelines include social distancing, masks for all non performers and audiences reduced to 15 percent of fixed seating capacity for indoor AND outdoor venues, or fewer than 300 people indoors or 1,500 people outdoors. Of course the audience is required to wear masks and social distance, too.

Meanwhile, Ohio High School Athletic Association officials have been given money to send out inspectors who will make sure all precautionary guidelines are being followed at sporting events. Their power is so great that if an OHSAA inspector believes the guidelines are not being followed, he or she can force the home team to forfeit the game.

In other words, the possibility exists for a return of some of the things we missed so desperately last spring: live performances and sporting events. But we can ruin it. Attendees and organizers who do not follow the guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 might well abandon common sense in a defiant display or a bid for profit and cause a halt to this very welcomed wave of reopenings.

Please, folks, enforce and follow the guidelines, if you want the show to go on.


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