Our Opinion: Preparation, not panic, needed in fending against coronavirus

But being vigilant shouldn’t mean being reckless when it comes to protecting ourselves.


Where to begin with coronavirus?

It’s been declared a global pandemic. Scientists are trying to slow its spread and find a cure, government agencies are working on plans to protect residents, private businesses are formulating contingencies to protect employees and private citizens are just trying to make sense of it all.

There appears to be almost no segment of society -- business, schools, government, sports, entertainment, community groups and events -- that isn’t impacted in some way directly or indirectly by coronavirus. Trying to mentally digest the daily news on it is enough to make your head spin.

Make no mistake, coronavirus, and our response to it, is serious business and we should all pay heed to what’s happening locally, in our state and across the world.

But being vigilant shouldn’t mean being reckless, and about the best advice we can think of is for everyone to stay calm, take seriously the precautions offered by experts in combating the spread of the virus and be prepared for changes in your daily routines.


We think following these tips are a good first, immediate step:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice as a guide.) Scrub the back of the hand and between fingers.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home.

Simple enough tips that are good practice whether we’re in danger of a new virus or not.
Yes, coronavirus is serious business. New cases are being confirmed around the world, country and state every day. We have no idea what will happen locally or when. That’s why it’s important to be ready for whatever comes.

We’re well past the point where ignoring coronavirus, downplaying the threat of it or not taking it seriously is not a solution.

Of course we hope the virus never reaches us here, that it is stopped or contained in short order, but until that day we believe being ready at all levels is a good thing. It’s not overkill to be prepared. It's not fear mongering, it’s prevention and preparing for any number of possibilities regarding coronavirus.

As with most situations, our approach to coronavirus should be pragmatic. Being proactive instead of reactive, and doing so in a sensible manner, is always the better course of action.

Yes, our daily lives will be impacted by these decisions, but they are being made for a good reason -- to slow the spread of coronavirus in the hopes of letting it run its course. That, to us, is a smart decision.

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