Dunbar Easter Parade returns after absence last year due to pandemic’s onset

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Credit: WINK News.

Easter is the first holiday people can gather since the onset of the pandemic.

One of the big events this weekend in Southwest Florida is the annual Dunbar Easter Parade in Fort Myers.

Info on parade and road closures

We looked at whether there should be concerns for an uptick in cases because of an event like this.

Experts say more and more people are getting vaccinated, but we haven’t reached herd immunity, so folks going to the Sunday parade are encouraged to wear masks and keep up with social distancing.

In 2020, Easter events were canceled, from the Easter parade to family gatherings.

Although we’re closer to the end of this pandemic, some say staying home is the way to go.

“We’ll probably call our kids that are in other states and say happy Easter,” Dee Goforth said.

“I don’t know what we’re going have,” Donna Inman said. “But we’re going to have Easter at home.”

That’s what experts say you should still do this year.

Jay Gupta is the program director of public health at FGCU and an associate professor with the Department of Health Sciences. He says everyone should still limit celebration to the people they live with. The virus is still out there, and not enough people have received their shot.

“Until we reach that level, it is advised that we follow the same precautions that we have been following since the start of the pandemic,” Gupta said.

But the Easter parade is back.

Martin Byrd, the president of the Dunbar Festival Committee, says so many of us are going back outside.

“Again, we’re having this parade, one, for sense of normalcy,” Byrd said.

Byrd says the parade is a way to get the human interaction many have missed over the last year.

“Socialization is important to human life, so we’ve definitely been lacking with that over the year,” Byrd said. “So we want to provide an opportunity for those who can’t.”

Byrd says if you are high-risk and don’t feel comfortable celebrating Easter in the community, of course, stay home.

If you do gather out in the community, they suggest social distancing and masks.

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