I read something yesterday that kind of put this whole idea of "social distancing" into perspective. Each person who comes into contact with the coronavirus, either by touching an infected doorknob or clutching an infected shopping cart handle, will potentially pass the germs onto at least three more people, each of whom could expose three more people and so on.

See how quickly this spreads?

This COVID-19 virus is similar to viruses that we have dealt with before but it is a new strain and therefore we have no immunity to it. While most of us might become mildly ill from it there are those, particularly the elderly, for which this virus could be fatal. Imagine infecting your parents or your grandparents simply because you were callous about following orders to lay low for a bit. Is it worth the risk?

The more we isolate, the less likely it is that the virus can spread, thus we "flatten the curve" more quickly and move on from this in time for summer. Should we be rebellious and refuse to cooperate with what the medical experts are telling us more people will be infected, lots will die and this will drag on for months.

My friend and colleague Michael Rock writes "social distancing is a patriotic act." I agree. From the very beginning, Americans have rallied in the face of adversity and we can do it again. Whether it be the American Revolution, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, September 11th or COVID-19, we stand together in a way like no other people on Earth. Social distancing is a small price to pay to defeat this virus.

We've got a lot of fun to look forward to this summer but first, we've got to get this behind us.

Practice good hygiene, look out for your neighbor, adhere to pleas for social distancing and most importantly, be careful out there.

We've got this, Greater New Bedford.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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