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I have to admit I am worried right now.

During this coronavirus shutdown, we are all experiencing something that has never happened before in our lifetimes.

We have to retrain ourselves not to go out. No more movies. No more shopping just for the fun of it. No more going to your favorite restaurant. No more antiquing or garage sales.

Don’t travel, don’t go to school or church and don’t gather in large groups.

I still see people doing it all.

Stop it!

This is an important time in the development of the virus. If we diligently resist the urge to go out and actually hunker down at home, maybe we can stop the virus in its tracks.

Ironically if we all do the right thing, the naysayers will complain that this was all a hoax and we didn’t need to socially isolate ourselves. If we do the wrong thing and not isolate ourselves, many of us will be infected and spread the virus to our friends, family members and neighbors.

Now is not the time to hold county fairs, go out to the bar for St. Patrick’s Day, go out to eat or even have dinner with the next door neighbor.

Now is the time that you sit on your bottom, work from home if you can, become an artist, learn to play a musical instrument, read a book, take a walk, ride a bike, something to keep yourself busy.

You can still go outside, in fact getting some sunshine is a great idea.

But don’t jump in the car and head for the store just to pick up a snack.

If you do need supplies, plan ahead and make a list. Try to envision the store and put that list in some sort of common sense order to save time and exposure while shopping.

Take your surgical latex gloves with you and I’m going to wear a breathing mask. I have some and that’s what they’re for.

Don’t forget to use the sanitizing bleach wipes on shopping carts and any other surfaces you might come in contact with, wash your hands, use the hand sanitizer and wear those gloves.

I know they are not fashionable, but it is time to use them.

My father was called to battle the Italians and Germans in World War II. It was a war that had to be fought. We are at that point again. We have to fight this strange biological war against an unseen enemy — a virus.

The best thing is all you have to do to win is stay home and keep to yourself.

We are at a point in the history of man that has not happened very often. Perhaps this would only compare to the days of the bubonic plague or Black Death epidemic in the mid-1300s or perhaps the 1918 Spanish flu.

So far this doesn’t looked like it is the end of the world. It’s just a huge hurdle to the future of mankind’s existence but everyone has to pay attention and do the right things.

The sky is not falling. The birds are still singing. The sun is still shining and all you have to do is isolate and protect yourself by taking a series of easy precautions.

Don’t go to the store and purchase every roll of toilet paper you can find. Buy toilet paper if you need toilet paper.

Don’t buy cases of tuna because you are going to really dislike the boring taste of tuna day after day.

When you go to the store, try to be normal in your buying habits but plan for longer and longer sessions between visits to the store and do not take the whole family to the store.

Only one person going inside the store from the family is better that taking the whole herd inside.

Try to protect your families by not putting yourself at risk. Be smart and be upbeat.

A good attitude will go a long way during this trying time. If you get down, talk to someone whom you can be open and honest with. Share your fears. Discuss your problems.

We can get through this and we will be better as a society when we do.

I’ll admit it — I am frightened by the coronavirus. It can kill us but there is a way that we can survive.

Everyone needs to be diligent to defeat this biological adversary.

If you have a roof over your head and food to eat, you had a pretty good day!

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Justice reporter Jim Headley can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

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