It’s summer, and hotter than blazes, and it’s great to get back out into the world.

Last weekend, the first under Phase 4 of Restore Illinois, drew big crowds to places like the North Riverside Park Mall.

But, people, you gotta wear your face coverings.

As we walked through the mall each day last weekend – Saturday was particularly crowded with shoppers waiting in lines outside capacity-limited stores and squeezing by each other at common area chokepoints – there were just way too many people either not wearing masks properly or just not at all.

There are examples all over this nation of what happens when simple steps like maintaining physical distance or wearing masks are ignored. In the absence of a nationwide plan to limit the spread of COVID-19, we’re largely on our own to make sure we’re doing all we can.

The pandemic is not gone, not by a long shot. It’d be a shame to have to move backwards after three solid months of working so hard to keep it under control.