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Are you keeping social distance?

Johnson City Press • Mar 16, 2020 at 6:00 AM

As fear of the novel coronavirus spreads across the country, elected officials and health care professionals have recommended maintaining social distance to limit the virus’ impact as much as possible.

In areas where outbreaks have occurred, mayors and governors have asked residents to limit crowd sizes at events and gatherings, school districts have shuttered for weeks and many businesses are trying to figure out whether their employees can work remotely from home.

Our area has only seen one positive case of COVID-19 so far in Sullivan County. Neither Washington nor Carter counties have reported a positive test for the illness.

Still, churches, businesses, schools and hospitals are taking precautions to prevent its spread should it arrive. Grocery stores are out of some essential items, as area residents stock up in preparation for staying home for a while.

Some say some of the measures, like buying large quantities of toilet paper in bulk, are an overreaction to an illness that doesn’t pose much of a threat to most people. Others say some of the precautions, like staying home and avoiding large crowds, are reasonable to keep the virus from infecting people in our community who are most vulnerable to it, like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Spending more time at home, instead of out socializing with friends and family, can get a little lonely, so we’d like to hear from you.

Are you keeping social distance? What are you doing to while away the time? If you’re still going out, what’s it like out there? Have you noticed fewer people at your usual hangouts?

Send your answers to [email protected] Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length.

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