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As coronavirus outbreak continues, let us remember 2 important things

As we in Pennsylvania now must confront the pandemic of coronavirus head on, it is important to remember to do two things.

The first is listen to the experts. No, that’s not that guy you met one time in junior high you’re now Facebook friends with. The experts are the folks from the Centers for Disease Control and those in the medical field. They are best positioned to give advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to avoiding COVID-19 and they are the people whose opinions we should value most.

What those people are primarily telling us to do is to avoid getting together in large groups because that is the quickest way for the virus to spread from one person to another.

As a result, we should listen and not go to the social gathering places we normally do — not that we’re going to have much choice soon anyway, as Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday ordered all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania, which include bars and restaurants, to close for at least two weeks other than takeout and delivery, just in time to curtail today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Staying away from each other for now — at least physically — is in everyone’s best interest, despite how unpleasant that may be in the short term.

The second thing we should do is avoid panicking. That doesn’t just mean refraining from running around and causing a riot, although we strongly discourage you from doing that. That also means resisting the urge to “panic buy” certain items in crazy-large quantities like hand sanitizer, cleaning products, toilet paper, canned goods or really anything else — a sentiment echoed by President Donald Trump.

If we all only buy what we need, then there will be plenty of most things to go around. The recent phenomenon of barren store shelves is what happens when we try to stockpile certain items like the apocalypse is upon us.

We are here to tell you that while this is a serious situation that requires serious action, the world is not ending and no one should act as though it is.

We realize it will be a lot less fun to be stuck at home with limited options for entertainment, but it’s better to suffer less now than we will later if these measures aren’t taken.

And everyone should keep in mind, the better these strategies work — i.e., the longer we go without someone local contracting the virus — the more it will seem like an overreaction.

Unless you absolutely have to be out and about, don’t be. Unless you need certain items because your supply is low, don’t buy them. Unless you have to be around a lot of other people, don’t be.

This situation is unlike anything most people living today have ever experienced, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t get through it.

We wish all of you safety as we take on these challenging times together and look forward to when life may return to normal — whenever that may be.

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