Spring has sprung. The snowstorms have turned into rain showers. Birds are chirping. Flowers will soon be blooming.
And Easter celebrations are right around the corner.
Many people are planning to spend time with family, such as Clara Tait, a Michigan State University senior. Tait, 21, said she’s excited to go home to Caseville, Michigan, for Easter. Yet, with larger gatherings, she’s wary of COVID-19.
“This time last year it was pretty bad for us, so we didn’t do anything,” said Tait, 21. “My mom and sister are both nurses, and they work at an elderly nursing home. We just didn’t do things because of that.”
Tait noticed changes in COVID-19 precautions when returning to her small town after living at a big university.
“Back home it will all be no masks. I come from a rural area,” she leaned in and said under her breath, “so they kind of don’t care.”
Dr. Michael Zaroukian, an internal medicine specialist at Sparrow Hospital, said new unmasking policies in Lansing are informed by CDC guidelines for low-risk areas. According to Zaroukian, Lansing’s average daily COVID cases are down to about 25 per day, 5% of what they were a couple of months ago.
Zaroukian said Sparrow is “cautiously optimistic” about the recent unmasking policies. He said they likely won’t cause a spike in cases. Still, it’s best to know your risk and the risk of those around you when attending Easter gatherings, he said.
Tait said her family intends to attend church in person this year. She said her family is ready to start getting back to a sense of normalcy. In fact, she said her sister is getting married in August, and they’re celebrating with a reception of 250 people.
“They had a bigger list, but unfortunately the caterer couldn’t handle that many,” said Tait.
Zaroukian has big plans as well. He said he’ll be running the Boston Marathon for the seventh time the day after Easter. After the 2020 Boston Marathon was canceled and the 2021 race was postponed six months because of COVID, the 2022 installment will run like normal, with some precautions. Zaroukian said participants are required to be vaccinated and boosted but won’t have to wear masks during the race.
“Gathering without masks certainly feels more normal, and people want to feel more normal,” said Zaroukian. “The most important thing remains: get vaccinated, get boosted, and stay up to date.”
Beth Jefperson, who works at the Greater Lansing Information Center, said there are already scheduled events leading up to Easter Sunday, April 17. She said the Easter Bunny will be at Meridian Mall until April 16. Capital Prime on Showtime Drive in Lansing is hosting an Easter brunch and dinner.
If you’re looking for Easter activities for kids, a staff member at the Capital Area District Library on Foster Avenue said there will be an Easter egg hunt in Scott Woods Park on Saturday. The event will be open to the public and will start at 11 a.m.
Other events include the Hippity Hop 5K and Easter egg hunt at Potter Park Zoo. The race will start at 10 a.m. Saturday. Ticket prices will vary depending on activity and age. All the sign-up information can be found on the Potter Park website.
Gier Park in Lansing is hosting an outside Easter event with a flashlight Easter egg hunt on April 14 for ages 4-10, according to the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department. That Thursday, games and activities start at 8:30 p.m., and the Easter egg hunt begins at sunset. Tickets are $5.