We Made It…Well, almost!
Protection And Service – By MPO Jim Whitman, Winter Park Police Department
There was no better news to hear than when it was announced that the Mask Mandate had been lifted. Once again we were able to see each other’s faces and in some cases become more cognizant of our facial expressions as we spoke with people. Although there seems to be a resurgence in cases of COVID and it is recommended that when indoors among large groups of people that masks be donned again, it is still nice to see things slowly getting back to the way we are used to. That being said, it might be a good idea to “brush up” on some of our old habits.
As you know, schools are back in session soon and the majority of kids will be actually attending school in person. Now that the collective cheers of parents everywhere have dinned, it is important to recall that there will be more school buses on the roadways and little ones walking and riding their bikes to and from school campuses. Therefore, please be mindful of active school zones (as speeding tickets in these areas are quite expensive), the crossing guards and kids need you to be paying attention and not on the phone! Also, remember that all traffic travelling both directions on a roadway (unless there is a raised median) must stop for school buses that are in the process of loading and unloading children. Watch that STOP arm!
Another thing to get back in the habit of, since people are no longer working from home and returning to the office, is package deliveries. During the pandemic, people were home to accept packages. Now, those packages may sit on the front porch or next to the front door just ripe for the picking by a porch pirate. Therefore, if you find yourself going back to the office, you may wish to change your delivery address to your office or at least check with your neighbors to see if they are willing to hold your packages for you until you come home from work.
Since people are feeling a little more comfortable going out and travelling, more miles are being put on vehicles and therefore gasoline purchases are increasing. With more activity at gas pumps, credit card skimmers are sure to make a resurgence. Just like prior to the pandemic, a little vigilance at the pumps can save you a lot of headaches later. If at all possible, pay cash or use your credit card inside the station when filling up your vehicle. If you wish to maintain the convenience of paying at the pump, patronize stations that allow you to use a pay app on your phone, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, as those offer a very strong level of protection. Whatever you do, try not to use a debit card to pay, as once these cards are skimmed and compromised, your checking account can be depleted rapidly and the return of those funds will take much longer to occur.
Lastly, for those of you who have ventured out, you may have noticed that many of the businesses that you used to patronize in person have reopened for in-person business. However, many of the employees have not returned. Now those businesses are trying to juggle “take out” service while at the same time trying to serve customers in the store and that has been stressful for everyone involved. Please take this into consideration when you have to wait a little longer for service, as everyone is trying to figure how to marry these processes and create the best experience for everyone. After all, we survived a pandemic….mostly!