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Editorial: We are at war; these are our weapons

The world is at war — not with each other, but with a virus — and our weapons are few, but if used they are powerful.

Yes, we are at war, but we aren’t being asked to say goodbye to our loved ones, to travel to a distant land, to pick up rifles. We are simply being asked to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash our hands. Health experts believe that if we do this across our country, the current unchecked spread of this virus would cease.

Some are reluctant. They claim that it impinges on their freedom. What they don’t understand is that by not wearing a mask or practicing the other recommendations, they really will lose their freedom.

There’s the chance that rather than having the freedom to walk into a grocery store to buy food, they could be tethered to a ventilator and fed through a tube.

There’s the chance that rather than spending quality time with a family member or friend, they could be reduced to communicating through a phone held by a nurse, since those who are hospitalized can’t receive visitors.

There’s the chance that walking into a local business will no longer exist, because the enduring pandemic will force it to shutter.

The ability to dine in a restaurant, go to work, send our kids to school, attend a community event, all hinge on our ability to stop the spread of this virus. So if you like doing those things; if you missed the Fourth of July fun; if you are going to miss the county fair — then do the things that have proven to work.

And remember, with this disease, the result isn’t reduced simply to “life as we know it” or “death,” there are staggering numbers of people who “recover,” but with impaired physical and cognitive abilities. There is so much that we are learning about this disease every day, and it rarely seems to be good news. Rather, it’s that new symptoms are discovered; additional body parts are affected and even more segments of the population are proven vulnerable.

To repeat, we are at war. We are fighting not only for our way of life, but for our very lives. No one goes into battle unarmed. We need to use what we have: Face masks, physical distancing, hand washing. We can beat this thing . . . if we fight together.

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