These are uncertain times. A virus, a novel coronavirus, once so far away and a side story in December is now the only news story that matters.

 That is a slight overstatement, but what is not an overstatement is the need to take precautions and look after one another during this public health emergency. 

It is immensely disappointing that so many events have been cancelled, especially once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like prep state tournaments. Social distancing is a sobering prospect that goes against human nature.  

But this virus is not to be taken lightly. As has been seen in China and Italy, the outbreak can spread rapidly and overwhelm health care systems. We must spread apart physically, but also come together in spirit. Sacrifices must be made—safety guidelines must be followed at the expense of convenience or fun. We must make do with less, and not hoard essentials from neighbors. 

Follow these public health recommendations:

·  Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

·  Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw tissue away.

· Avoid touching your face.

· Stay home when you’re sick.

· Avoid coming into contact with people who are sick.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using cleaning sprays or wipes. 

• Limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people. 

The economy is taking a hit, but there are still opportunities to tide businesses over until the threat has subsided. Use services that require limited human interaction, order take-out and buy gift certificates to use later. 

We have heard many good examples of neighborliness already. In the past few days a Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook page has grown to 2,500+ people, and hundreds are posting information and offering help to those in need. 

Our community is one that has always looked out for one another in tough times. This challenge is new, but we’ll get through it together.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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