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There are a lot of numbers associated with COVID-19 — ways to quantify and calculate the impact. But one of the most dramatic impacts is difficult to quantify — the loss of an experience.

An experience would be something you do — going to hear music, attend an art walk, watch a play, seeing your kid play youth sports, inviting friends and family to a birthday party, meeting friends/coworkers at the bar after work. An experience could be something small, like attending your nephew’s piano recital, or something big, like attending your child’s high school graduation.

Some of these experiences have been filtering back into our lives, many in modified forms. The last to return have been the public performances — events where people would gather in hundreds or thousands.

We saw a significant one this past weekend with the Daily Record Bares and Broncs, where the crowd reached its COVID-19 capacity on Saturday.

It was the great event — the talent level was tremendous — but there was also the element of people wanting to get out and “do something.” There was pent-up demand to enjoy a good competition.

This weekend will see performance return to a slightly small stage — play and musical performances on the youth, high school and college level.

Valley Musical Rising Stars are performing “The Phantom Toll Booth.” The Ellensburg High School is presenting its Winter Musical, “Working!” and Central Washington University’s Theatre Ensemble is performing, “The Theory of Relativity.”

For live performance fans, this weekend is a deluge after an extended drought. All are being performed starting on Thursday. It is possible to see each performance if you schedule your weekend out. All these performances have capacity limitations and other COVID-19 safety protocols.

It is great to see all these groups getting back on stage, but particularly for the EHS Winter Musical. The Winter Musical is a significant event and experience for a large number of EHS students (on stage and behind the scenes). Kudos to everyone who stuck with it and managed to put something together even if it meant moving winter to May.

We are in a transition period and it is not yet known how many events we typically experience in a summer will return this summer. This week the organizers of Patriot Night Under the Lights (Fourth of July event) announced it will take place this year.

It is safe to say though, whatever we end up experiencing we will enjoy and appreciate a little bit more for having lived through the absence of such events.

If nothing else, you can look at your weekend plans and say to yourself, “I’m going to go see a play.” Enjoy it.

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