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Until normal comes again

How very much we take the normal state of things for granted. It’s hard to even count the ways that the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 has turned our daily lives upside down in the past week.

Day-to-day, run-of-the mill activities — going to school, going to work, going to the grocery store, meeting up with friends and loved ones for good times — all seem out of reach for the time being. Life interrupted.

More so than these interruptions, the uncertainty over their duration is perhaps the greatest stressor. Will it last a few weeks or a few months? No one can say anything except that depends on the precautions people take going about their daily lives and in the contact they have with one another.

The situation Americans, and indeed the whole world, now find themselves living in has been called unprecedented, and that is an accurate word. But, in facing the unknown and the uncertain, we also have to ask ourselves — will we succumb to fear and panic, or will we rise to the occasion as a society, caring for the most vulnerable among us?

Will we continue to feed the frenzy we see in our local grocery stores? Focusing so much on ourselves that we leave nothing for the elderly and the disabled?

What about the children who are out of school for however long? The school system and others are doing everything in their power to keep these kids fed and learning, but can we do more as a community to support them?

How about the elderly and the infirm? As one of the most susceptible populations to any illness, what can we do to make sure they are taken care of, without exposing them to any unnecessary risk of contagion?

Then there are the people who are out of work because of this event. They’re our friends and neighbors, people we see every day in restaurants and stores, and suddenly, by no fault of their own, they don’t have a job or any source of income. How can we help them get through this tough time?

Working through this is going to be hard on everyone, some more so than others. Already, there are some incredible people and organizations stepping up to help our community. Take a look in the mirror, Beaufort County. How will you rise to the occasion until normal comes again?