Choose life; self-regulate

Dear Editor,

A new, insidious foe has the world’s attention.

Its nightmarish shadow is tearing some families apart and shredding the peace that many once knew.

The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — is no respecter of persons, claiming among its many victims royalty, infants, journalists, celebrities and policymakers.

Undeniably, the war against this mysterious and deadly manipulator will be won on the battlefield of self-discipline and self-regulation.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently, “Asking people to stay at home and keep physical distance measures is important to slowing the virus.”

COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly.

It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases; 11 days for the second 100,000 cases; and a mere four days for the third 100,000 cases.

As of April 2, there were approximately 900,000 reported cases and about 45,000 confirmed deaths, according to WHO. But these figures are not merely cases; they are human lives spread across the globe.

In many cultures, including our own, physical closeness and contact is the norm.

The rules of survival now dictate that distancing oneself from human contact is the key to arresting the rapid spread of this infection.

This is in addition to frequent and thorough hand washing and other respiratory hygiene measures.

“Social distance” is said to be the key to defeating the coronavirus foe.

When authorities direct at least a six-foot separation and impose quarantine, self-isolation and curfew measures, they strike at the heart of our ability to discipline ourselves for our own preservation.

Human beings are creatures of habit, whose sense of belonging, stability and community is predicated on contact.

Removing that contact calls for a seismic shift in thought and action.

It demands that we constrain our own selves, adjust and adapt.

COVID-19 has forced a new reality, a reality which requires new habits.

A touch of endearment could quite, literally, be the kiss of death.

This current denial of instant fulfillment may require extraordinary discipline in the short-term but the ultimate rewards are more than worth it, for ourselves, our families, the nation and the world.

Choose life.

Maintain the required distance.

Stay home!

Tameka Lundy

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