Covid-19 has been a huge topic of conversation for the past several weeks, and is a growing concern for people all over the globe.

This is the paper products aisle of my local grocery store just yesterday. It’s a good thing I was only looking for tissues…

Like many of you, I’ve already begun seeing the results of panic buying in my hometown, including grocery store shelves emptied of essentials like toilet paper. Sporting events have been cancelled, and our local schools will be closing next week to help slow down the spread of the virus. Many local business have been sending out emails regarding their response to the virus, and detailing their plans to keep their customers and staff healthy. My local library has taken things a step further and elected to close its doors until the second week of April, extending due dates for hard-copy materials and asking patrons to avoid returning books while the library is closed.

So far I’ve managed to avoid exposure to the virus, but I am being very cautious (and doing a tremendous amount of hand-washing after running errands) in my attempt to stay healthy.

I’m obviously not a medical or health-care professional, so I’m not qualified to educate anyone about the specifics of this particular virus, or about pandemics in general. But what I can tell you is that you need to make sure that you are educating yourself by seeking out information from reliable resources, and taking proper precautions to avoid getting sick and/or spreading this disease to others. If you have questions about Covid-19, I highly recommend checking out the information on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.

If you are ill, or suspect you might be ill, please take care to separate yourself from others…especially older adults and others who are at-risk due to chronic illness. I know it’s a lot to ask of people, especially if your paycheck is contingent on your physical presence at work, but I’m sure that we all have family members and friends who are in the at-risk category due to age or medical conditions. Please consider the welfare of others when deciding whether or not to report to work, go shopping, or attend religious services.

Thank you. And don’t forget…

Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

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