Two challenges come to mind this week.
The first is the novel coronavirus, with cases increasing in the past week in Ketchikan. In response to that turn of events, more masks appeared on faces in the community.
The other is the darkness, making it difficult for drivers and pedestrians to see each other. It’s especially challenging for drivers when pedestrians wear dark colors.
When these two occur together, as they do this year, it increases the likelihood of calamity. And what is feared might not be the most prevalent danger after all. For example, wearing a mask is believed to help keep COVID-19 at bay. But wearing dark clothes and crossing the middle of a busy section of Tongass Avenue — even if wearing a mask — might be riskier than contracting the virus.
It is clearly daring to forgo crosswalks when visibility is limited. Add the downpour of recent nights to the darkness, and throw in a darkly clad pedestrian outside of a crosswalk, and’s only a matter of time before a pedestrian is or group of walkers outside of a crosswalk are struck by a motor vehicle.
With the dim light and the rainy weather, even in the crosswalks such an accident might occur.
This is a reminder to all to think of the driver or the pedestrian, the guy or gal dressed in dark colors, and don’t assume that the right-of-way is yours or that you can be seen.
It’s debatable — depending on the severity of the impact — whether the accident or the virus would do more harm. But neither should be taunted.
Be careful out there.