Editorial: Coronavirus keys: Clean, isolate, don't panic

Is the coronavirus our greatest global challenge for survival since World War II?

Everywhere you look, from the major cities to small-town Los Altos, people are hunkering down at home and employing “social distancing” as the coronavirus continues to spread. World financial markets and small businesses alike are breaking under the weight of a virus unseen by the human eye.

We understand the concern. At this point, there is no vaccine for a disease that’s been characterized as the flu on steroids. It has a higher mortality rate, and “contagious” doesn’t begin to describe the ease of transmission.

The good news is we’re going to get through this. But we’ll keep illness and mortality rates at bay only if we each do our part. You know the drill: wash hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer; avoid touching the face; wipe surfaces with disinfectant frequently; and avoid mass assemblies.

That last one is tough. Entertainment – movies, concerts and sporting events – would serve as a welcome distraction from the anxiety we’re all experiencing. They are all suspended, along with many other programs and classes that enrich our daily lives. For now, video streaming from home will have to do.

We want to re-emphasize two words that are being used these days with greater frequency: Don’t panic. Follow the guidelines set forth by our local authorities.

We also want to emphasize kindness to others. Help out if you can and support our small businesses. Refrain from being a “bad actor.” We need a lot more good than bad to get through this crisis.

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