Rumors annoy me. Specifically, anything that is not verified as fact. To be sure, a rumor is not the same as an estimate or projection based on previous facts. A rumor's a statement pulled out of thin air and designed to grow on thin air; adding more gossip and then passing it along to others. It's the very reason, and I must add a solid one, why trial attorneys object to hearsay.

With our forthcoming July 4 celebration, rumors abound. This awful virus and the nasty COVID-19 illness it causes could be the culprit. It has had us incarcerated in our homes since the middle of March. Now that warm weather is here, everyone and their uncle are itching to their spread wings and soar as high as soft billowy clouds allow on warm, late spring days.

And no one more than yours truly can wait until our July 4 celebration with the sand castle building contest for kids (and grownups who have not yet grown up) at the new state park beach across from Dusty's Landing, the 45th annual July 4th Portage Lakes Boat Parade and the gigantic 36th consecutive firework display, a $50,000 extravaganza. Launched from Mason's Point at the eastern tip of state park beach, it's one of the largest, privately funded shows east of the Mississippi,

So my wife, Peggy, contacted Dano Mundy who's been in charge of this gigantic show, and is rightfully credited with its success. Contrary to rumors as to whether our July 4 celebration happens, according to Dano he has yet to hear from the governor whether a permit will be issued. If it is, he'll let me know and I'll pass it along in a future column.

With this coronavirus pandemic running rampant from one country to another, and even crossing oceans via flying or sailing, it is not a fact but rather an educated prediction, that most medical experts are anticipating a second wave sometime later this year, possibly early fall, and that second wave could very well be worse than the first. One has already started in Wuhan, China, where the original was first discovered.

Pharmaceutical giants are working around the clock to develop a coronavirus vaccine, hoping to lessen more damage a second wave has the potential of producing. As of this writing, a drug called Remdesivir has passed initial testing by helping to lessen the effects the COVID-19 disease causes. But far too little testing has been accomplished and there's not enough made yet for hospitals to help patients they already have.

This country we all love and deeply cherish, has lost more than 90,000 lives, and by August the rise in that number projects to be more than 147,000. After South Korea opened its nightclubs just five days ago, coronavirus cases tjere took a sharp spike upward. If somewhere there was a hidden button you could press to stop this worldwide carnage, I'd spend the rest of my life searching.

The city of Stow understands the risks with opening public facilities too early. They not only canceled Memorial Day activities, but also their 62nd annual July 4 celebration. Silver Springs, a day camp, its beach, the campground, tennis courts as well as the Stow Senior Center remain closed until Labor Day.

With all due respect to the Portage Lakes Fireworks Association members, it wouldn't surprise me if a decision was made by Gov. DeWine to follow Stow's footprints and postpone our Fourth of July celebration. If so, there will always be more celebrations to come.

If you have watched or even participated in any of our July 4 festivities over the years, you understand how difficult it is staying six feet apart.

By postponing until it's most assuredly harmless, we might help slow the spread, keep our loved ones, especially our senior citizens and children, safe and protect more of those whom we love.

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