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Stay Home: Keeping apart is something we can do

Gov. Jim Justice was absolutely correct over the weekend in describing how the upheaval of COVID-19 is affecting many West Virginians.

“It’s like we’re all lost in a movie that we can’t relate to in any way,” Justice noted.

By Monday, Justice was giving the stay-at-home order to keep most of us even more than just socially distanced.

We Americans have been very lucky for more than a century and a half. Though the world has been wracked by two world wars and numerous smaller but still bloody conflicts, our homeland has not been invaded. The enemy has always been abroad.

Now the enemy is among us and only a tiny percentage of Americans, mostly health care workers, can go on offense as we fight back.

But what Justice has been saying for a week now cannot be over-emphasized. It is that all of us have a powerful defensive weapon: separation.

“The power is just this — our ability to stay apart,” has the governor put it.

Other than careful personal hygiene, maintaining distance adequate to keep from transmitting the virus to others — or contracting it from them — is all we can do.

But in terms of battling an epidemic, it is supremely powerful. The stay-at-home order is necessary, and we MUST obey it.

Justice is right: If we use that powerful weapon, we can be a model in stopping COVID-19. The more we do that, the sooner we can get back to the new normal. If we do not, there is no telling how long this monster will keep us from it.

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