Social distance camp fire pic

Alaskans are known for sucking the marrow out of summer. Camping, fishing, hiking, bonfires, cookouts all kick into high gear from May to mid-September. This year, however, we ought to be a bit more deliberate.

After enduring a year of endless calls to “keep our distance,” stay home, self quarantine and cover our faces, we need to intentionally reach out to family, friends and neighbors. Social ties are thread bare in the wake of COVID, which does not bode well for our common communal life together.

The best way to avoid demonizing and categorizing one another is to break bread or raise a glass around the fire. If your friends feel the need to mask, let them. You don’t have to agree, but we need to meet each other when and where we can. There is so much more to life than masking, vaxing and distancing debates. We need to reestablish these deeper human bonds, even if it’s a bit awkward at times.

It’s time to rediscover the joy of being with family and friends – even those whose political views we adamantly oppose. There will be no healing – and little laughter – if we cannot savor a brilliant Alaskan summer together.

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Socialize Deliberately

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Sammy says:

    We never gave up our right to get together. We had every holiday gathering, in 2020 and so far in 2021, Easters, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, labor day, we went on a train trip and camping multiple times, went to church and Passover Seders, baptisms and christenings, baby showers, and weddings, and did not wear masks, multiple birthday gatherings and a large annual summer party we have had for the past 6 years. There were people in our own bubble and not. No one got sick, we had fun and did not worry. The mandates will not go away until the people make them go away by not complying. Any person who has even been just halfway paying attention can see that those in power love their power and keep changing the narrative and goalposts. It is time for WE THE PEOPLE to stand up and fight for your God given rights.

  • Vonda Sanders says:


  • Michael S Totten says:

    I never went with the narrative from day one. If an establishment refused me service i just didn’t shop there. You can buy anything you want online from any major retailer and they will bring it right to your house. If small business owners want to act like communists then the rest of us vote with our dollars thats how i live my life.

    • Alberto Brandolini says:

      Piss on the commie idiots?
      Not wanting to get sick makes a person a commie idiot ?
      The narrative?

      Joel this guy is why what you’re doing is dangerous

      He’s already threatened doxxing on here

      He doesn’t understand your devil advocate routine

      He’s mentally unstable and something you post on here in going to drive him to hurt someone

      It’s on you Joel

  • Steve Peterson says:

    My family and I went on with life as usual: hunting, fishing, gathering, camping, picnicing…
    We avoided to mask requiring places, or if we had to go in, ignored the mask requirement.
    I think more and more people have caught on and are dropping all the pretenses. They are beginning to care less what the elitists think. They now know that they have largely been had and are trying to get back to freedom. I hope it is not too late.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Yes I’ve lived my life this last year, as if nothing has changed.
    If your Afraid or Unhealthy stay home.
    Just let me enjoy my Alaska summer and just stay out of my face with your stupid mask

  • Combs Linda says:

    I have no problem with those who have responded that they didn’t have any change in their socializing particularly with family this past year. BUT they obviously didn’t have a loved one in a retirement home, or assisted living home or that has medical conditions that make things a bit more difficult. My family is looking forward to having a blowout summer day with mini reunion vibe . Some had to travel, Mom’s in a retirement home and others had jobs that required the whole ball of wax, quarantine, masks, vaccinations, and they wanted a paycheck. Who knows, who cares as things are loosening up. Whenever possible do the Alaska summer “thing”. And count your blessings that you are here and available to “hang” out together.