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We’re opening, but still need to be cautious

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Even as Connecticut and New York experience a respite from the ravages of the coronavirus, we in the Northwest Corner can’t help but feel for the states that are now hot spots, just as our state and neighboring N.Y. were when COVID-19 began its march across the U.S.  One thing we could wish for those states would be that their governors and our federal government were coming from a place of having learned from the way the disease was brought into some control here. However, rather than listening to the scientists and the government officials who found approaches that worked in curbing the spread of the illness, there seems to be a lot of magical thinking happening in the face of a deadly and voracious virus. 

Which really, it would seem most of us could agree that viruses aren’t controlled by magic, but rather by analysis and an educated look at the way they respond to treatment. Even the president touts and praises the possibility of a vaccine for COVID-19 being available as soon as humanly possible. And vaccines don’t come out of wishful thinking. They come out of labs where scientists work insanely hard to study the target virus and the way it reacts to various treatments in human subjects. Kudos to those volunteers who have stepped up to be part of these control groups who are working with scientists right now so there may be hope for a vaccine as soon as possible. 

But until there is a proven vaccine, opening parts of our society will remain a risky proposition, and one that none of us should treat lightly. As the opportunity to gather in groups indoors increases, our vigilance should not decrease. And even gathering in groups outdoors, if physical distancing is not possible, wearing masks or face coverings should continue. Washing hands for, yes, 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer regularly when out touching all kinds of things, and wearing gloves should also continue.  This is because the coronavirus continues to be a danger to every human, as we will recall, in that we have no immunity to it. 

Do those who have the COVID-19 antibodies have immunity? That would be hoped for, but is still unproven. This really creates a situation where we all remain at high risk. 

So even as we all breathe a sigh of relief that schools are set to open in the fall, and that we can think about going out to a restaurant or to visit the library or have a haircut or manicure, we should still keep high standards of safety in mind at all times. 

Remember that this is not just for your own health, but to protect those around you as well. It’s not possible to tell who has the virus, especially if they are asymptomatic, or who is very vulnerable to serious repercussions from the disease just by looking at them. 

Now, we can go out to some places we’ve waited months to visit. It’s important to support all our local businesses as they try to manage to survive through this extremely challenging time, but please, also be careful and considerate of others, and yourself, while doing it.

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