Editorial Cartoon

As we come to terms with the realization of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, it’s time for all Floyd County residents to realize that we are not the exception to the rule.

Yes, we’re in a rural area. No, as of print deadline, we had no cases here, but that fact could change the second after our pages hit the press for print, and even if by the time you read this there are still no reported cases in this county, that doesn’t mean there are not cases here.

As of Tuesday morning, our state reported that around 2,000 tests have been conducted statewide and there are millions of residents living here. We expect test access to change very soon, but even after that time comes, we all need to live as though it’s already here and that we, our friends and loved ones already have COVID-19. If we act and live as though we have it, we will make it safer for every person we come in contact with and every person we love.

You need to do this not just out of an abundance of caution, but also because you can catch this virus and not know you have it for a few days. In those few days, if you are not practicing social distancing, you can infect all of the people you love.

COVID-19 is not the flu. It is different. It affects our bodies differently. It is more dangerous. It is killing thousands of people throughout the world because we do not have immunity to it yet.

One day that will change. One day we will have a cure or a vaccine. But that day is not today. Today is the day each and every single one of us must do everything we can to protect each other and those we love.

Gov. Andy Beshear and local leaders had to call out folks who decided to sell things and patronize a flea market in Prestonsburg this weekend. Last week, Beshear also had to call out a bingo hall in Pike County.

These are difficult times, and, yes, change is hard. But, folks, it is absolutely necessary.

Don’t put yourselves or others at risk.

Dr. Steven Stack, the state health commissioner, described the need for social distancing by using the analogy of a bee. He explained that just like a bee goes from flower to flower pollinating things, so, too, can we go from place to place infecting others with this virus. That’s because you can’t see this virus. When you catch it, it doesn’t immediately come out shouting at you. It takes days for symptoms to appear, and in that time, if you are not social distancing, you can hurt a lot of people, especially those you love. In other states, this virus has killed several members of the same family. It has happened. And now that it has happened, there’s nothing those families can do to stop it.

If you think you are the exception to these social distancing recommendations, if you think it’s okay to go about your day doing the same things in the same ways you did a month ago, ask yourself this: What will you say two months or two years from now to the six year old whose father died of this virus because you decided these recommendations do not apply to you? We hope you never have to have that conversation. We hope none of us do.

You can still love the people you live with from six feet away and you can still show them that you love them every single day.

If you love them, if you truly love them, you will listen. Social distancing will become a daily part of your life and you will keep them safe. In doing that, you will help keep us all safe.

We can get through this, Floyd County, but we can’t do that without your help.

Do this. Do this for yourself. Do this for your family. Do this for all of us.

Stay smart. Stay safe. Help each other.

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