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The importance of social distancing

Editorial By Dr. Robert Smith, Meade County Family Medicine  It has been said time and time again – our only defense against COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is to stay home. We are all in the midst of adjusting to a new normal, and it may feel difficult and isolating at times to only venture out when absolutely necessary. Yet that is precisely what we must do to ensure our community is safe.  Social distancing is crucial right now, however a large number of people are still out and about. Parking lots are full, roads are congested, and social media is full of group photos. This is troublesome. Our most vulnerable populations are at risk. It’s not about you, it’s about protecting those who need it.  We must prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 could be already here and that people with no apparent symptoms could be carrying and transmitting the virus. They can be seemingly healthy, showing no symptoms, yet still spread the virus to those who might not fare so well. The most responsible things to do are to stay home unless absolutely necessary and follow the CDC’s guidelines to keep at least six feet between yourself and others if you must go out.  Also, at this time it is imperative that we protect our healthcare systems. If too many people become ill all at once, we will be inundated with too many patients and our resources will be stretched too thin. We are already seeing this happen in some communities in the U.S. Being smart and following recommended guidelines will decrease the number of COVID-19 patients, thus ensuring more of our friends, neighbors and loved ones will survive.  This is an unprecedented time, and we are all coming to terms with our new normal. It is up to all of us to be responsible. We must band together by staying apart. Stay home, practice social distancing and flatten the curve.

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