In March and April, the idea that college football players would return to the gridiron for the 2020 season seemed a stretch, at best — most of the country was locked down and spring sports, including spring practice for football, were nixed. 

That a season would happen at all was still in doubt in August, when two major conferences, the Big 10 and the Pac 12, announced the cancellation or postponement of the 2020 season. The SEC took a wait-and-see approach, though, ultimately landing on a 10-game, conference-only schedule.

Still, a 2020 season wasn't a sure thing, especially with the outbreak of Covid-19 among students once they returned to campus and the fear that those cases would spill over into the Auburn community and result in another spike in hospitalizations. 

While the number of patients hospitalized at EAMC has ticked up over the past two weeks, the situation is better than expected — the University just reported its lowest weekly positive case count since classes resumed and the numbers reported by EAMC aren't climbing out of control. 

The Auburn community, local businesses and University students and staff deserve credit for following, for the most part, Covid guidelines and keeping the pandemic under control. 

A football season would not have been possible otherwise. 

And it's essential that residents and the University community remain vigilant so that games are not postponed or the season put on hold. 

It's vital to do so for many reasons, including to help our downtown business community — retail, restaurants and hotels — weather the Covid storm during the fall, which most businesses rely on the keep the doors open throughout the year.

In addition to bringing much-needed revenue to the community, seeing the Auburn football team take the field gives us a hint of normalcy in time of uncertainty. 

Let's all stay focused on putting our best foot forward in the coming months so that we can see the season through to its end and find a silver lining to a year that most want to forget.

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