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Take care of one another (Editorial)

by | Mar 20, 2020

As our nation and world navigates the uncharted territory in responding to the spread of a new coronavirus strain, COVID-19, the prolonged pandemic has brought out the best and worst in people.
News updates on state and federal response plans have coincided with social media posts condemning panicked food buyers, toilet paper hoarders and hand sanitizer profiteers.
Cybersecurity researchers have identified a growing number of phishing scams in which fraudsters are using coronavirus to entice victims.
“It is the most clickable lure that an attacker can send out. Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon,” said Ryan Kalember, an executive vice president at Proofpoint, a global cybersecurity company that is monitoring the phishing activity. “Their success depends on getting people to click. Coronavirus drives clicks like nothing else right now.”
Soon after the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in the United States, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals began selling customized face masks with a message to “Go Vegan,” and attempted to connect the disease to livestock production.
Not only is there no evidence showing the disease comes from livestock or poultry, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people without common symptoms of coronavirus (fever, cough, respiratory trouble) not wear facemarks.
It’s shameful an organization that claims to protect animals is so flippant about the facts of a worldwide pandemic.
But there are signs of hopefulness and people’s generosity and thoughtfulness has shone through after the hysteria subsided.
Neighbors called to check on one another, relief efforts formed and volunteers gathered — at safe distances — to hand out meals to school-aged children who would otherwise struggle to get food for the day.
The response to the pandemic COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives, cancelling or postponing virtually every public event, closing schools, businesses and government offices, limiting travel, slowing business and sucker punching commodity and stock markets.
Many predict the spread of the disease and the global response to contain it will trigger an economic recession.
We do not object or even question the decisions made by state and federal leaders in trying to contain the disease’s spread.
They’ve operated with the best knowledge available, keeping public health and safety at the forefront.
But the ripple effect of these necessary measures will last much longer than the disease’s outbreak and certainly, some things will not return to the way they were.
We can’t come together physically right now, but we’ll have to find a way to work together through the unknown extended disruption.
And when we can again return to some semblance of normalcy and meet in large groups, it’s crucial that we come with our best and leave our worst far behind.

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