Slowly but surely the reports of happy news are starting to trickle in. We are finally after a year or more in some cases hearing and seeing reports of families being able to get together and embrace each other without fear of sharing the coronavirus. Now, even Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is speaking of gatherings among individuals who are not subject to social distancing protocols and not required to wear masks.

Yesterday the Governor told reporters that the key to Louisiana residents being able to return to normal activities such as crawfish boils, barbeques, and festivals without the need for face coverings is all dependent on getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Currently, there are three medicines approved for that. They are the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the two-dose protocol from Moderna and Pfizer. Beginning Monday, any Louisiana resident over the age of 16 may set an appointment to get vaccinated.

Oddly enough, New Orleans, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the state is now leading the way in vaccinations. The New Orleans area is reporting a vaccination rate of about 17% of the population. The Lake Charles area is lagging behind as the least vaccinated area of the state. Vaccination rates in that area are listed at about 10%.

As more and more residents receive their full vaccinations officials are hopeful that fewer and fewer coronavirus restrictions will be necessary. An individual is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their final injection.

Dr. Joe Kanter, Louisiana's State Health Officer says that the key to safe gatherings is not only getting yourself vaccinated but making sure that your family and friends have had the vaccine as well.. Kanter added that if fully vaccinated individuals are exposed to COVID-19 they will not need to quarantine unless they begin to experience symptoms.

And since a lot of us have waited far too long to gather with friends and family for crawfish boils, you'll want to make sure when it's your turn to gather the gang together for mudbugs that you do it right.

10 Steps to Boiling Crawfish Like a Pro