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Editorial: NM’s peek at normal was just extraordinary

For the first time in a year, it seemed like a regular Monday.

And it couldn’t have been more special for many New Mexico parents, teachers and students. The school buses ran in the morning, playgrounds were filled in the afternoon. Cars lined up to pick up students later in the day.

The state’s goal of full reentry for all public schools was Monday; for many, it was the first time in a year they’ve opened their doors. Students have the option to continue with virtual learning, but many opted for in-person learning. “We remain committed as ever to supporting all of our students, wherever and however they spend the final eight weeks of the school year,” APS Superintendent Scott Elder said.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, visiting Aspen Elementary in Los Alamos, said, “I know so many all across our state are incredibly excited to safely get back to class – my granddaughter Avery was no exception this morning.” There’s no telling how many other grandparents, moms, dads and caregivers saw the same joy on the faces of their kiddos Monday.

In addition, the state Department of Health said Monday that all New Mexicans 16 years old and up are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, another major milestone in the return to some normalcy. But Monday was a peek at, not necessarily a vision of, the future. As variants take hold, the best things we can all do now is get vaccinated and keep up with wearing masks, social distancing and hand-washing. New Mexicans can register for the free vaccines at vaccineNM.org.

The state says 47.9% of New Mexicans have received at least one dose, with over 511,000 fully vaccinated. We are making progress against coronavirus and need to finish the job.

By all accounts, Monday was a good old regular Monday for many parents and children, one we haven’t seen in over a year. Here’s to more of them.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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