Wake up and heed the warnings

Published 6:16 pm Friday, April 3, 2020

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And now it gets real.

Up until Wednesday of this week, perhaps the majority of Roanoke-Chowan area residents thought that the COVID-19 virus was nothing more than a nasty cold or bad case of the flu.

We all learned on Wednesday that COVID-19 is a killer. It claimed the life of one of our own when a Bertie County resident succumbed to complications caused by the virus.

Our hearts are broken. We lift up prayers to the family of this person, asking God to comfort them in their time of sorrow.

This tragedy should serve as our wake-up call. If we haven’t already started, we all need to be doing our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so much to the point where its deadly effects do not cause another local family to mourn the loss of a loved one.

Hopefully we’ve been paying attention to the precautionary measures that local, state and national health officials have been stressing for weeks….stay at home unless you work at a job deemed essential by the governor or need to visit a business to purchase essential items; isolate yourself at home in the event you are showing signs/symptoms of the virus; and maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and others when you do venture outside or visit a business.

But are these measures working….or is it a case that we’re not abiding by them?

What about inside a place of business that is open to the public….are we maintaining that six feet of social distance? Are we refraining from embracing friends with a hug or handshake or just standing close to chat?

No one can be 100 percent sure they are without the virus within their system….some will have it and show no symptoms. Do you really want to take the chance that you’ll share it with someone whose immune system is compromised by an underlying medical condition? They are the ones, no matter their age, who are most at-risk with this particular virus.

We’ve got to do all we can to end this deadly threat. Here are some additional measures we feel should be added to the list of precautionary actions:

While travel is permitted to businesses where you typically purchase essential items (food, medicine, household cleaners), please designate one adult member of the family (who is not sick, of course) to make that trip. There’s no need to pack up the car with the entire family, kids included.

If you are healthy, call on your immediate neighbors or even other family members, especially the elderly, and volunteer to shop for them while you are out. That will help reduce the number of people who need to leave their homes to purchase essential items.

There needs to be a serious discussion about implementing an area-wide curfew during the nighttime hours (10 pm to 6 am). Of course there would be exceptions for those who work or are traveling to or from work during those hours.

We totally understand the strain that places on our local law enforcement, especially with many local departments not fully staffed. But we need to prevent people from gathering and roaming the streets at night. They’re only causing possible harm to themselves.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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