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Let's not be selfish.

Let's be like the blue dots who sat still

Bad things happen to other people in other parts of the world, not here in rural Rock County.
We watched the coronavirus nightmare unfold in China and then overtake other overseas regions. And then the first cases showed up on American shores. … Still thousands of miles away.
But over the weekend it became painfully clear that it would indeed reach our doorsteps here in Rock County, and local leaders — county, cities, schools, churches, hospitals, etc. — put together a plan of attack. Or, more accurately, a plan of defense.
Events and activities are canceled and postponed to encourage “social distancing” and prevent the spread of the virus.
Our children are home from school (and encouraged to stay home if possible). They can’t go to the pool, theater or ice arena, because those, too, are closed. So far our restaurants are still open, but they too are shifting food production from table service to carry out and some delivery.
The idea is to close gathering places in an attempt to discourage gathering.
Seriously. Please, dear citizens, take this seriously.
It doesn’t mean locking doors and boarding windows, but it should mean we think beyond ourselves to consider those we come into contact with, no matter how brief.
 The Washington Post on Saturday published an online video simulation of an infected person (unknowingly carrying the virus) coming into contact with others in the course of a normal day.
The infected person was portrayed as a red dot among dozens of other blue (not infected) dots.
As life happened — unimpeded by quarantines cancelations and closures —the dots moved around freely.
The red dot bumped into blue dots that turned red and bumped into other dots that also turned red until nearly all the dots were red. (An accurate illustration would have shown dots disappearing as mortality rates rose.)
The story of the dots turning red all at once played out in China and Italy, where a deluge of critically ill patients overtook hospitals and emergency rooms.
The Post illustration also showed the dots in communities that exercised “social distancing.” The red dot circulated in the community, however more slowly, and only in some circles, since there were fewer things to do and attend.
Many of the blue dots, since they sat still, never came in contact with the red dot, and therefore didn’t turn red.
Other blue dots here and there turned red after bumping into the red dot, but because the cases turned up in hospitals at a slower pace, they recovered and turned blue again.
Furthermore, the red dots also sat still (self-quarantined), also slowing the infection rate.
It’s true that young, healthy people many never get sick, and it’s true that closing down communities seems extreme.
And we shouldn’t panic.
Nor should we be selfish.
 Let’s think about our older or immune-compromised friends and neighbors who are at risk of dying from this bug.
Let’s not be selfish. Let’s be like the blue dots that sat still. It’s the least we can do.

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