Think back to last summer. Remember how you felt when red tide was creeping over the beaches and intracoastal waters like the black plague? Was your stomach tied in knots every time the news came on or each time the FWC updated their red tide reports? And don’t even get me started on how depressing Facebook was.

Well, look at us now. The Harbor is bursting with life. The fishing reports are full of good news. You don’t have to go far to find happy anglers — just stop in at any local tackle shop and listen to all the chatter. These are the good times.

So why, when things are going so well, am I publishing Capt. Van’s column about how bad things can be? Simple: Because he’s right. We should all enjoy the good times, but it would be foolish to ignore the realities that are going to come crashing down on us at some point. There’s a sword over our heads. You can pretend it’s not there if you want, but your reaction to it doesn’t change the fact of its existence.

It’s easy to be vigilant when times are bad. When they’re good, we want to party and forget about all the crappy stuff. But that’s how more bad stuff happens — when nobody’s paying attention, it’s a lot easier for things to slip by unnoticed.

I’m sorry if it harshes your buzz, but it’s always better to face the truth. That’s why we have to keep up the drumbeat, even in good times.

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