Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

Johnson City Press • Updated Mar 28, 2020 at 10:50 AM

A lot has changed in the past few weeks.

In what seemed like an instant, we went from March Madness brackets and chatting with neighbors at the grocery store to daily infection charts and social isolation.

Even for those of us who aren’t sick, the novel coronavirus and its disease, COVID-19, threw a monkey wrench into every aspect of our lives — work, leisure, education and shopping.

This global pandemic has forced a lot of change on us quickly, but most of us have handled it in stride, and we should be proud.

When schools closed, teachers and students embraced online classes. When the governor shuttered gyms and dine-in restaurants, fitness instructors found creative ways to use meeting software and social media, and cooks and servers started curbside takeout.

Those who have had to change the most are the people working on the frontlines: our nurses, doctors and paramedics caring for patients who may be infected.

But let’s not forget our grocery store employees, manufacturing and distribution center workers and truckers, who can’t work from home. They’ve had to make massive changes too, so the country can keep moving.

COVID-19 may change our attitudes about “unskilled labor” and the worth of some of these jobs now deemed essential.

It’s been a tough slog so far, but there’s likely more to come. Health experts say our region is just now starting to see signs of community spread.

It’s disheartening to know that the worst may be yet to come, but it’s times like these that we can show our strength.

We can do this, and we can get through it together.

We’ve already shown we’re willing to make the changes needed to control this virus, we just have to drop our selfish desires and think of others.

In this time of recommended social isolation, we have to join together to make sacrifices to save those in our community most at risk. If the past couple of weeks are evidence, we will.

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