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STEVE ASHMORE: Once more, into the breach

Steve Ashmore
Gannett Florida Blogger
Walton Sun

Shakespeare’s King Henry rallied his soldiers with, “Once more unto the breach,” urging them to try one more time in their attempt to break through the walls of Harfleur. Often when the situation seems dire, it’s words such as these that keep us focused on the task at hand. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to handle the current state of affairs that has affected our daily lives. Yes, I’m talking about the coronavirus.

Keep in mind that the biggest threat, if you will, is the contractibility and sustainability of this virus. There are always concerns about how lethal these diseases can be. COVID-19 is a dangerous agent to those with certain ailments; it’s particularly risky for the elderly. The people who are succumbing to the virus typically have respiratory issues or chronic conditions that leave them with suppressed immune systems to begin with. If you fall into one of these categories (or are caring for someone who does) use the precautions that we’ve all become familiar with.

Hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. While this is a good practice anytime, it’s particularly important during the cold and flu season. The best information we have indicates that COVID-19 is a droplet transfer instead of airborne, which makes this simple task even more important.

Use common sense when dealing with crowds. The more people you see, the more chances you have to expose yourself to someone infected. Even if their symptoms are minor, they can still be contagious. If you’re especially vulnerable consider using the all so common delivery services for now. Grocers, restaurants, and retailers (such as Amazon) all will drop items at your front door. Take advantage of these conveniences if you are at risk. Most of our crowded events – sports, concerts, even movie theaters – are either canceling, postponing or limiting seating. While this isn’t helping the economy, it’s prudent and encouraging to see that our health is more important than entertainment.

Avoid travel. This is the one that’s going to call for some sacrifice for some. Advance tickets for air travel and cruises may not be refundable. Depending on how you booked your accommodations, that may cost you too. But think it through. There will be other opportunities to visit popular locales. Given the nature of this outbreak, it doesn’t hurt to ask if your travel plans can be postponed or refunded. And if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

Yes, this is all very inconvenient. But it is a battle that can be won. We’ve done it before many times on a smaller scale. Legionnaires Disease, Swine Flu, Mad Cow Disease all required community effort on a large scale.

So, once more unto the breach.

Steve Ashmore is a blogger for Gannett Florida.