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This is not the time to become complacent

The Lycoming County Commissioners this week renewed the county’s disaster declaration as it relates to the coronavirus for another 90 days.

While it allows the county to apply for emergency funding connected to COVID-19, it also signals the view that the coronavirus continues to be a serious issue, with more cases being reported daily.

And these cases are not just among the elderly. Young people have been contracting the virus as well. It’s out there, in the community. So what are your chances of getting it?

That may depend on the level of interaction you have outside of your home and steps you take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Are you conscientiously wearing your mask every time you visit a public facility? Are you continuing with frequent hand washing and sanitizing? Are you maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowds?

Or have you tired of those protocols, looked around and not seen anybody you know get sick and become complacent?

We believe Commissioner Rick Mirabito is correct in warning that “we need to be mindful of wearing masks” and cautioning that there may be dramatically more deaths nationwide by December.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine has predicted the death toll could rise to 300,000 by Dec. 1, but mask wearing by 95 percent of the population could reduce that number dramatically.

We agree wholeheartedly with Mirabito’s statement: “We need to put the importance of the community above the individual.”

At the same time, we need to get on with life. We need businesses to be open and to stave off supply shortages.

Toilet paper may be back on store shelves, but have you shopped lately for wood for a home project or a desk to allow your child to do schoolwork from home?

How about an appliance to replace something old that has stopped working, such as a stove or washing machine?

Clearly, with the assortment of shortages we have been hearing about and experiencing, it is imperative that we keep businesses open.

We also need our schools to continue the mission of education. This has been difficult, yet necessary, with assorted models of in-person instruction, remote learning and a hybrid of both.

We cannot just stop, even though collectively we worry about the health and well-being of every worker, in every job, in every aspect of life.

Surviving this pandemic continues to require a delicate balancing act, but it is what we must do.

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