Editorial: Staying safe

Editorial: Staying safe

The Greenway Trail in Port Jefferson Station. Photo by Heidi Sutton

After sitting home for over a year, people are finally emerging from their living rooms. The world has opened back up, restaurants and venues allow 100% capacity again. Things are starting to look like they’re coming back to normal. 

Remember before COVID-19 how many murders, shootings and disputes there were — not only on Long Island but across the country? 

For almost a year, there was little news of a gunman entering places of business. Schools weren’t open, so there were no high school shootings — something that happened relatively  often in 2019.

It was nice, wasn’t it?

But now, we’re seeing a lot of instances again where we need to remember to be safe. 

Last week, there was a stabbing in the early morning on the Greenway Trail in Port Jefferson Station. Barely two days later, a shooting occurred outside a bar in Port Jeff village. 

Now that life is seemingly regular, the people who have pent-up energy, anger or who are emotionally disturbed are back out in the public. 

It’s time to be aware of our surroundings again. 

People might have forgotten to look over their shoulders while walking in a parking lot in the dark. They might not realize it’s not safe to be alone during a walk at night. If a customer looks unstable at a business, it might be good to alert someone and stay away.

Things are back to normal and, unfortunately, that means the bad stuff is back, too. 

Keep your phone handy, bring a friend to places infrequently visited so you’re not alone and maybe invest in a whistle for your keyring to deter someone coming at you. If someone is walking toward you, look them in the eyes, so they know you can identify them if needed. Also, it never hurts to let someone know where you are going, especially when it’s late at night or you are traveling in an unfamiliar area.

Nowadays there are also apps for your phone that can help you stay safe, from ones that you can check before you venture out to see if any crimes have been reported in the area, to others that will send a message to your contacts you predetermine if you scream or don’t respond to a text message from the service by a certain time.

It’s important to stay safe. Look out for yourself and look out for others. 

We’re all in this together.