It’s time to nip this in the bud

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial

There’s no excuse.

We’re all going stir crazy sitting at home instead of living our normal life, but the longer COVID-19 sticks around, the longer we all suffer. The longer the unemployment rate goes up, the longer the economy struggles and the longer we have to fear about losing our jobs or getting the virus.

Rumors of fall events getting canceled due to the novel coronavirus, and still months away from getting to that point, is ridiculous. There is no reason we should be looking that far into the future, and to be honest, there is no reason this virus should make it that far. But if that tells us anything, it’s one message—the time to nip this in the bud is now.

With predictions of fall cancellations including college and NFL football, which rules the south, there should be some fear. While we don’t need to fear life and be afraid to live our lives, this is a dangerous pandemic that is very easily spread from person to person and the only way for some people to understand that seriousness is through fear.

Shelby County, the state, the country and the world are seeing heroic efforts from nurses and doctors every day, we’re seeing positive stories come out of every city from teachers, communities, businesses and cities stepping up to help spread a message of cheer.

But, this isn’t all sunshine and roses. This is a serious matter that won’t go away until we come together and do something about it.

And the only thing you can do? Stay home!

Yes, we need essential items like groceries, takeout food, gas and money from banks. And we need to find a source of exercise, but we should even be limiting those occurrences and there are ways to do them safely.

When you go pick up your groceries or food, watch for people coughing or sneezing and stay away. Use hand sanitizer as much as possible until you get home, try not to shop on the same aisle as other people and don’t touch your face. After getting home, wash your hands immediately, unpack your food or groceries, and then wash your hands again.

Also, when you go out for a walk or exercise in your neighborhood or at a local park, do so at a distance. If you are walking with your family, don’t take up the entire space, leave room for others to pass you at a safe distance.

In addition to that, healthcare workers and first responders have to work to keep our country safe, and they are exposing themselves to the virus every day because they have to.

You have a choice to stay away from it all. Don’t make their hard work all for naught.

While we all have hope that the end of this virus is near, and while we want to see positive stories, the reason we need to see the hard facts of this pandemic, which might be scary, is to realize how serious it is and can become.

With the peak of the virus expected to come over the next three weeks locally, let’s all challenge ourselves to beat it. Together, we can be stronger, we can take this virus down, but if we don’t, it will consume us for the next several months to a year until a vaccine and some form of treatment are available.

Call or video message your friends and family, go for a walk around the neighborhood, play games, watch movies, think of a way to change the world, but most importantly, be smart and flatten the curve so we can nip this in the bud once and for all.