This is an editorial from senior Reader staff.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before. We need you to wear a mask, get vaccinated, get boosted and take COVID-19 seriously. We originally had more fun things to do ready to publish for January, but we’ve decided to pull them. We couldn’t condone large gatherings when Douglas County hospitals are at 83% capacity, as of this writing, and nearly 3,000 Nebraskans have died from the virus. And while 62% of Nebraskans have gotten the shot, the more contagious omicron variant poses serious threats as cases are, once again, spiking while Douglas County goes without a mask mandate.

We don’t want to pull stories to remind readers COVID-19 is serious, especially as we enter our third year of the pandemic. But that’s the reality. As cases persist we will not promote shows, concerts, art galleries or other events that don’t ensure proper social distancing, masking and vaccination requirements. Get your loved ones vaccinated and boosted. Make sure you have a mask in hand when you need to go to the grocery store. Pandemic fatigue or not, it’s not just possible to beat this, but necessary.

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