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Maintain your distance when out shopping

Grocery stores and other retailers selling essential goods have adapted their practices in keeping with the social distancing prescription that is a big part of fighting the coronavirus public health crisis.

But they cannot do it alone.

The shopping public must be big participants in this effort.

It is very unfortunate that the public has not fully adapted.

Go into any grocery store in the region and you’ll likely observe checkout lines with people waiting within the prescribed 6-foot distance of one another.

You may observe couples shopping together.

You may even see groups standing together talking — stores long have doubled as social places where people enjoy “bumping into” others they know and taking a moment to catch up with each other’s lives.

Save it for later, folks.

Leave the family at home and designate one person to do the shopping.

Avoid the temptation to go to the store because you’re feeling confined at home and just need to get out.

Try the backyard. Soak up the sunshine of spring on days when it’s available. But keep your distance.

And keep your distance in the stores. It’s much more than a simple courtesy — it’s a way to prevent the spread.

Look, you cannot see it, but you have to acknowledge that it’s out there — and that it’s possibly here in Lycoming County or soon will be.

The numbers being released daily by the state indicate it is getting ever nearer. It’s already in Columbia, Montour and Potter counties, all adjacent to Lycoming County.

So do your part — stay home! Better to deal with it in solitude than to find yourself or your loved ones hit hard by this devastating disease.

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